(01.18.11) The Vancouver Whitecaps selected Colorado Rush Alum Jeb Brovsky with the 19th pick in the 2011 MLS Superdraft last week. Jeb recently took some time to talk about his time with the Rush, draft day and moving to Vancouver.
Rush: When did you start playing with the Rush?
JB: Ever since I was four years old I’ve played for club Columbine, which turned into Rush when I was around 10 or 11. So I’m a Rush boy through and through.
Rush: What is your best memory from your youth soccer career with the Rush?
JB: The state cups that we won are a good one. The team was just so dedicated. But I think the best memory was going to Regional’s in Hawaii at U19. It was kind of our send off tournament. The guys just had a great time down there. Unfortunately we lost the final in penalty kicks but I wouldn’t trade that trip for anything.
Rush: What has playing for the Colorado Rush meant to you as a player?
JB: I owe everything to the Rush. Coaches like Tim Schulz; he and my dad really taught me the hard-nose, grit side of the game. Then growing up with Carlo (Cornacchia) (Erik) Bushey, Nick Goddard, those coaches they taught me how to read the game, how to be a student of the game first. Working on my skills by myself individually but then when you come into the team environment, it’s all about the team. So I really owe everything to the Rush.
Rush: How has the club affected you since the end of your youth career?
JB: It’s funny when I was committing to Notre Dame I asked (Rush President) Tim Schulz about (Head Coach) Bobby Clark and he said “If he offers you 20% to play for him you take it and go play for him.” So that’s kind of how he sold me on Notre Dame and Bobby Clark. Then just keeping in touch with Carlo and Tim and Bushey over the last four years, it has been crucial for me so I can keep developing when I’m home for break, things like that, everyone has been very supportive from the Rush.
Rush: What was the MLS combine like?
JB: It was probably one of the best experiences of my life. It’s funny a bunch of the guys on my team were from Cal and played on the Arsenal team that used to beat us when I played for Rush. But it was fun to get to know those guys on a better level. Meeting other guys from around the country and eating together and talking about our futures, just a great experience. The level of play was high. Going into it, I was more lighthearted and excited instead of being nervous and trying to impress. Before hand I talked with Collen Warner (CO Rush player drafter No. 15 to Real Salt Lake in 2010) and asked what he did at the combine and he just said, “You just go out and play the best way you know how.” So that’s what I did and had one of the best experiences of my life.
Rush: Do you think your play at the combine raised your draft stock?
JB: I knew that I wasn’t highly talked about before the combine so I knew I had to do something to draw some attention but I wasn’t too worried about that. I think my versatility in the combine really showed. Which is just another testament to the work I did with the Rush, but the coaches seemed to be impressed with my level of professionalism, and gamesmanship and just the way I read the game, that’s all stuff I learned from the Rush.
Rush: What thoughts were going through your head upon hearing you’d been drafted to the Vancouver Whitecaps?
JB: I was ecstatic! I really couldn’t have been happier! I met with their coaches at the combine and when they called to meet with me I was just on top of the world. The level of that organization, how they run it and how professional they are; when I saw my name on the draft board I just couldn’t be happier to be going to Vancouver.
Rush: How did you find out and who were you with?
JB: I was at home with my sister and my girlfriend and it was funny, I was just sitting there and they started screaming and when I looked up I saw my name on ESPN2! A minute later the president of the Whitecaps called me and talked to me and congratulated me. It was probably the best moment of my life up till now.
Rush: Were you surprised by where you were drafted (First pick of second round, No 19 overall)?
JB: To be honest the rumors after the combine, what most MLS coaches were telling me in my meetings was that if I didn’t go in the first round that I would go first or second in the next round. Eddie (Rock, Jeb’s agent) called me that morning and said, “Don’t take this to the bank but if you are still on the board after the first round, you will be drafted with the 19th pick,” and he was spot on with that.
Rush: What are your thoughts about joining the Whitecaps?
JB: Well everything that I’ve heard and read about the organization is just how professional they handle things even if it is just their youth system. The way they handled themselves at the combine, you know coaches were rating me and I was trying to rate them and the Vancouver coaches really impressed me as coaches and evaluators of what they want in a player. By the end of the combine they were my number one choice and I just hoped I’d be taken by Vancouver. I just can’t wait to get up there. As an expansion team I’m just ready to get out and hopefully play as a young player. The organization really just has the whole package and it’s a great city as well.
Rush: What is the next step for Jeb?
JB: I leave for camp on Thursday so it’s really coming up soon. Preseason will be about two months and our first game is March 19th against Toronto FC.