Coming in to the 2014 Major League Soccer season, Jeb Brovsky was a fan favorite amongst Montreal Impact supporters.
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He was a solid right back, known for playing hard and his team-first mentality. Every Impact supporter remembers Brovsky breaking his nose in a Canadian Championship match with Toronto, only to come right back in the game a few minutes after being patched up. Turns out, he would need plastic surgery to brace his nose. You can read about the story HERE.
Heck, Brovsky was so well liked, he had a supporters group exclusively for him – the Jebi Knights!
Yup, he was one of those players who you can’t put a price on.
Well, actually, the Impact could, and that price was a second-round draft pick in 2016.
Brovsky was sent to New York City FC, a club that hadn’t even played a game in MLS yet!
But before Jeb could even get to the Big Apple (population 8,405,837), he would have to go to the municipality of Drammen, Norway (pop. 62,566). NYCFC didn’t want him wasting away for the final months of the MLS calendar and offseason, so they sent him to Strømsgodset IF, of the Norwegian Tippeligaen league.
Now back from Scandinavia and a winter trip to India, Brovsky and the rest of NYCFC are getting ready for their first season.
Brovsky was nice enough to take time out of his offseason to talk with La Metropole Sports about his experience in Montreal and what he’s been up to since.
La Metropole Sports: To start off, what were your original thoughts on being traded?
May 24, 2014; Commerce City, CO, USA; Montreal Impact defender Jeb Brovsky (5) controls the ball in the second half against the Colorado Rapids at Dick
Jeb Brovsky: I was very excited when I heard that NYCFC made a move for me. I think any athlete in any sport has a dream of one day playing in the Big Apple, and I couldn’t be more enthused or fortunate to be a part of the club and the city.
LMS: You were loaned to Strømsgodset in Norway. At the beginning of your pro career, did you ever picture yourself playing in Norway and what was it like?
Brovsky: I never thought I would be playing in Norway, let alone the reigning Champions of Norway. Strømsgodset is a fantastic club with great history and I really enjoyed my time there. The training sessions were fast paced and technical and the characters in the locker room were great. I will certainly always look back on that short period of my life with fond memories.
LMS: What is your fondest memory with the Impact on the field?
Brovsky: My fondest memory with the Impact was winning the Canadian Championship twice with the boys. Being in the locker room in Vancouver and back in Montreal the year after was incredible and something I will never forget. The Ultras, Jebi Knights, and rest of the fans for the Impact really made me love my time there and I look forward to giving them a heartfelt salute when I return.
LMS: What is your fondest memory of Montreal as a city?
Brovsky: My fondest memory of the city of Montreal would have to be the Plateau, where my wife and I spent most of our time. We met some amazing people and Moose [our Saint Bernard] especially loved getting to ‘claim his territory’ around the local parks.
LMS: 2015 will mark the third time in five years you are starting the season with an expansion team. In your experience, is there something different about clubs in their inaugural year, culture wise?
Brovsky: The culture is going to be different with an expansion club in its first year compared to an established club. This is only normal, but I think it is a great opportunity for the expansion club (in this case NYCFC) to form a new identity and culture right from the start. I think fans can look at the collection of players that the staff at NYCFC are bringing in and can tell that character means a great deal to this club. I’m excited to get going in preseason with the guys so we can begin what we hope will be a very successful campaign.
LMS: What are the challenges that face a player joining an expansion team?
Brovsky: Due to the nature of an expansion club, players do not have the luxury of being ‘return’ guys who can automatically walk into preseason with a comfortable feeling that they are a starter. Expansion players come in and essentially have to look at preseason like an extended tryout, where you need to get your foot in the door with this particular club. It’s also a great opportunity for young players coming into the league to have an opportunity to really push for minutes throughout the season.
LMS: Have you met David Villa, Frank Lampard or any of your other teammates yet?
Brovksy: I met David in NYC earlier this month [January] and could immediately sense what a good guy he is. We joked a bit with my broken Spanish and his broken English, but he certainly is learning quickly. It’s always a great opportunity to play with world class players like Villa, Di Vaio, Nesta, etc. because they have a world of knowledge to share and it would be insane not to learn form them.
LMS: What do you think it will be like playing in Yankee Stadium?
Brovsky: I don’t think it has fully hit me yet that we will be playing in Yankee Stadium. I often get asked, “Where will you be playing?” and the answer always amazes people. It is such a historic place and the atmosphere will be unbelievable with all of the NYCFC faithful. We hope to make it a football fortress.
LMS: The New York media has a bit of a reputation. What do you think their perception of the new club will be?
Brovsky: I’ve seen a lot of media outlets across the country/world really making a meal out of the ‘MCFC/NYCFC’ thing and I get a good kick out of it because people will always find something to gossip about. I love the quote “Even if you walk on water, your haters will say it’s because you can’t swim.” (Unknown). With any big club, city and/or market, you are going to have positive and negative attention on you. I think the club is loved by the city and its media already. The staff/media/front office of NYCFC are doing all of the right things, handling everything in stride and with pure class.
LMS: You went to Notre Dame. When was the first time you watched Rudy and did you cry?
Brovsky: The first time I watched Rudy was when I was 10-years-old at home with my Dad. One does not simply watch Rudy and not cry! Go Irish!
Special thanks to Sam Cooke and the rest of the NYCFC communications department.