Youngster Brovsky proving vital for Vancouver midfield

Jeb Brovsky

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It’s been a story of ups and downs for the Vancouver Whitecaps in their first season in Major League Soccer, but for rookie Jeb Brovsky, it’s been a tale of gradual progression.

The Whitecaps selected the Colorado native 19th  in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, and Brovsky made his debut on April 10 against the Houston Dynamo. He’s made 10 total appearances for the ‘Caps during the regular season heading into the club’s matchup against Toronto FC on Wednesday (7:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online), but his most recent showings were perhaps the most telling of where he stands on the team’s depth chart.

For most of this season, Brovsky has deputized when one or both of midfielders Terry Dunfield and Gershon Koffie have been unavailable due to international duty or injury, but in the Whitecaps’ last two matches, that changed.

Vancouver’s victory over the Philadelphia Union on June 18, however, marked the first time Brovsky started when both Dunfield and Koffie were available and healthy. Brovsky kept his starting place for the following match against Sporting Kansas City last weekend.

The 22-year-old midfielder was enthusiastic but diplomatic about being chosen to start for the first time when the full midfield was available for selection.

“It’s great to get the confidence from the coaches, and get the nod,” Brovsky told MLSsoccer.com. “Us three [myself, Dunfield, Koffie], whoever we play with, we’re comfortable.”

Veteran midfielder Dunfield, meanwhile, described Brovsky as “a good all-round midfielder.”

“He does the simple things well,” Dunfield said. “He tackles well and doesn’t try to overdo it. He’ll pick his times and get forward, and maybe someday we’ll see a goal from him.”

Interim head coach Tom Soehn said Brovsky has worked his way into the starting lineup through hard work and good performances on the training field.

“We continue to reward guys who do well in training,” Soehn said. “I always say the coach’s job is easy — the players determine who plays [by performing well in practice].”

Soehn did say the Brovsky-Dunfield partnership isn’t the finished product just yet though.

“The spacing still needs to get a bit better between the two in the new system,” he said. "There’s still room to grow."