"Glue guys". Every successful club has them. They're not the most famous players, but they're the players who hold a locker room and a team together, through rough days and great games. Let's take a look at someone who might be one for New York City.
Jeb Brovsky was the second player to be added to New York City’s inaugural season roster. The 26-year-old defender and Lakewood, Colo. native began his playing career as both a forward and midfielder in high school and with theyouth team before going on to play at the University of Notre Dame. In the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, Brovsky was selected first in round two, 19th overall, by the . After a generally successful debut season in MLS with 24 appearances, though, he was left unprotected in the 2011 MLS Expansion Draft. That's where he was selected by the .
Brovsky arrived in New York City after the club traded a 2016 second round SuperDraft pick to the Impact. Considering that the vast majority of SuperDraft picks don't stick around MLS rosters, getting someone like Brovsky was worth the trade.
In his last season, Brovsky made only seven appearances after being a regular starter in the previous two years. After signing with New York City on June 12, 2014, Brovsky was immediately sent on loan to Strømsgodset in the Tippeligaen, the Norwegian first division. He made his debut there as a 76th minute sub on July 26. He made two more appearances for Strømgodset, once as a starter. However, Brovsky struggled to adapt, and did not make it into the team for the final two months of his loan.
In addition to the obvious facets of being an experienced and relatively young defender, what else does Jeb Brovsky bring to?
Coach Jason Kreis highlighted "his athleticism, versatility, and passion for the game" in a statement made with the announcement of his signing. His experience of playing professionally as a midfielder and defender definitely proves his versatility. He converted from midfielder to right back after being drafted to Vancouver, and after being selected by Montreal, he went on to make appearances as both a right back and left back at the club.
Since arriving at New York City, Brodsky's earned a reputation as quite the character. On his Twitter profile, Brovsky regularly engages in sly jokes, showing a side that people don't generally get to see from professional athletes.
Brovsky also brings to the club his strong character, both on and off the pitch, and coach Kreis has made a point of saying that the character of the players he has brought together is important. Brovsky has been very active in volunteer and humanitarian work for years, even being recognized with the MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Month Award for March 2013. He founded the non-profit Peace Pandemic five years ago, which strives to use soccer as a means to enable youth and end violence towards women worldwide.
On the pitch, just one example of Brovsky giving his all for his team came with Montreal in 2013 when he sustained a fractured nose in the closing minutes of a match. He insisted on finishing out the game after getting quickly patched up on the sideline, which led his coach and teammates alike to express nothing but praise and respect for him in their post-match comments.
It's early still, but Brovsky looks like he could be one of New York City's "glue guys".