Crew's keeper conundrum
For the second year running, Columbus' starting goalkeeper Jon Busch is out for the season. This year, the injuries just keep on coming at the position for the Crew. Busch's backup, Jonny Walker was already out for the year, and third stringer Bill Gaudette is hurt as well. MLS pool keeper Andy Gruenebaum came into the game while he had a broken hand after Busch went down, because they had no other option. Sigi Schmid was forced to resort to trading for Real Salt Lake's third stringer Noah Palmer, and calling up his old LA backup (and now retired coach) Dan Popik.
That's four goalkeepers who have seen action for them so far this season. I believe that the MLS record is five, set by the 1998 Miami Fusion, an expansion team. They had injury problems as well. I'm not counting players who weren't goalkeepers playing in goal, like the famous switch Bob Bradley pulled off with the Metrostars.
The Crew should be able to match that record. For all intents and purposes, Palmer is the team's fifth string keeper. Gaudette is expected to be back soon, and may be ahead in the pecking order. Right now, with Popik having returned to his coaching duties, the team is using an indoor player, Dominik Jakubek, as the emergency backup. However, it appears that Schmid is willing to go out and find a steady netminder. He's rumored to be looking at the Montreal Impact's Greg Sutton, who previously played for the Chicago Fire in 1999-2000. So at the very least, I would expect to see the record matched and it's looking likely that it will be broken.
5 goalkeepers used
MIA 1998-Jeff Cassar, Scott Budnick, David Winner, Matt Napoleon, Bill Andracki
4 goalkeepers used
CLB 1996-Bo Oshoniyi, David Winner, Pat Harrington, Brad Friedel
DC 1997-Scott Garlick, Jeff Causey, Mark Simpson, Tom Presthus
KC 1999-Cesar Delgado, David Winner, Chris Snitko, Tony Meola
NY 2000-Mike Ammann, Tim Howard, Russell Payne, Paul Grafer
CLB 2005-Jon Busch, Bill Gaudette, Jonny Walker, Matt Jordan
CLB 2006-Jon Busch, Andy Gruenebaum, Dan Popik, Noah Palmer, ???