At the very start, the Montreal Impact said that they were going to assemble their team starting with the “spine”. And so it proved.
The expansion side mainly exploited the middle of the field this season, with wide midfielders tucking in and helping their central colleagues work combinations. As a result, few assists came from Montreal players passing from wide areas. But there could be change on the way for 2013, says Impact defender Jeb Brovsky.
The 23-year-old approached his team’s postseason tour of Italy with a view on pushing forward and enhancing the attacking elements of his game. With the right amount of offseason work – and one year of experience under the team’s belt –, he feels Montreal could add another string to their bow.
“What we [side backs] haven’t done well enough is committing ourselves forward,” Brovsky told MLSsoccer.com by phone from his home state of Colorado. “It’s one thing when you overlap your outside mid and stop 30 yards from goal, but if you continue that run and you commit yourself"
“We do want to establish our game out wide, but I would say we have such strong players in the center that this year, we didn’t fully utilize a strength that we had, which is the speed that we have on the outside.”
Despite the uncertainty lingering around the head coaching job since Jesse Marsch's departure, Brovsky approaches next season safe in the knowledge that his versatility plays in his favor in a context where “there is always a chance of my role changing”.
But whereas the sophomore gladly moved around the field in 2012, notably learning the fundamentals of the left back position and making it his own for long periods, he also believes the time has come for him to stop being an outright learner and establishing himself as a starter.
“Now, it’s time for me to solidify myself as a great defender in this league,” Brovsky said. “For me, it’s not good enough to just be good; I want to be one of the best in the league and luckily, I’ve been around players like Matt Besler in college, Justin Morrow, and now [Alessandro] Nesta and these guys.”