SANDY, Utah — Real Salt Lake midfielder Ned Grabavoy is on pace to obliterate his career high for goals scored.
When the 29-year-old’s left foot blast found the net against San Jose last Saturday during RSL’s 3-0 win over the ‘Quakes, it was his third goal of the season — tying his previous career high he set with Columbus in 2007 and with Real in 2010
With well over half the season still remaining, chances are Grabavoy will find the back of the net again. And with the way he has been getting into the attack lately, there is a pretty high probability he will score multiple times.
It may be surprising for fans Grabavoy has been such a big part of the attack for the Claret-and-Cobalt. But for the midfielder himself, he kind of felt it coming.
“I think this was a big thing,” said Grabavoy of scoring again after the game last Saturday. “I think it is a lot of stuff off the field right now that’s put me in a position to do this. You get perspective a little bit the longer you’ve been in the league. I’ve been here for five years, and I sat down in the offseason and (thought) can I get fitter? Can I do the right things in the weight room, in the training room? Can I make soccer a top-top priority with my diet? All those things are highly important. I think as you get older and mature a bit, you think to yourself, ‘I want to play as long as I can.’
“And not just play, but I feel like I can be a difference-maker and I feel like in training I am one of the better players. It’s all those things that made me sit down and think to myself, ‘Can I become a great player and not just a consistent really good player.’”
All the extra things Grabavoy has been doing off the field are working for him on the pitch. Perhaps it is no big surprise, then, that his contributions are helping RSL shock many in the league as they are near the top of the table despite a slew of offseason changes.
“Right now, it’s working, but it is a team thing,” said Grabavoy. “I’m happy when we win. It’s all for the team. If just try to help. If that means playing right back in overtime in an Open Cup game and trying to figure things out or back in my normal position and trying to slot a few home, as long as we win.”