MONTREAL – At 3 pm ET, last Saturday, music thundered out of the Stade Saputo loudspeakers while beguiled reporters read the starting lineups for the Montreal-Philadelphia game on their smartphones.
Jeb Brovsky was Montreal’s left back. Never mind that the song playing was The Who's Won't Get Fooled Again, we’d been had.
The previous Thursday, head coach Frank Klopas had underlined the need for a leftie on that side of defense and the competition from Eric Miller and Hassoun Camara on the right. It looked like Brovsky, a regular starter for two seasons who’d missed the last four games, was facing a long way back to the XI.
So when MLSsoccer.com suggested to Klopas, after Montreal's 1-0 win over the Union, that he’d pulled quite a trick on the media assembled in front of him, the coach chuckled. Brovsky’s selection, he said, was “a feeling.”
“He’s a guy that competed, he kept working hard, and I knew his opportunity was going to come,” Klopas said. “I was thinking about the right moment, being here at home, I wanted to rely a lot on the veteran guys, the guys that have been here.
“I knew that this game was going to be a scrappy game and we needed guys that were going to compete,” Klopas continued. “I got up in the morning, and the first thing I thought was Jeb, so I said ‘Okay, Jeb, you’re in.’”
While Brovsky remained on the substitutes’ bench through April, hundreds of fans tweeted him to show their support. A fan favorite thanks to his social commitment, warrior-like attributes on the field and exemplary behavior off it, he was even the inspiration for a supporters group now boasting five chapters in as many cities.
The fans were relieved on Saturday. The man himself, even more so.
“I didn’t know at all,” Brovsky told reporters when asked whether he had any idea that he would start. “I read [Klopas’] comments as well, and obviously, you’re going to disagree with certain things. But he’s the coach in the end, and he’s going to make his decisions. But I’m glad he made the decision today.”
Olivier Tremblay covers the Impact on MLSsoccer.com