2013 Player Profiles: Cole Grossman's early season concussion restricts involvement

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Spor

Cole Grossman became a surprising sort of legend last season despite limited minutes in 2013. But when you score a stoppage-time, game-tying goal against one of the league's strongest teams, your legend outstrips your playing time.

Grossman came into the season with a good bit of promise about him; having been let go by Columbus Crew, Real Salt Lake picked him up in the Re-Entry Draft, with other sides very clearly interested in his rights.

But his third season in the league was cut woefully short when he suffered a concussion on March 23 -his return to action was four months later against Portland Timbers in August. He didn't start a match after his concussion until Sept. 28 in a 1-0 win against Vancouver. It was a tough pill to swallow for the player, I'm sure, but he came back better than he left. Given the very, very tricky nature of concussions, that's worth applauding.

He's pegged to be an important player for us next season, and indications seem to be that he'll take over Beckerman backup duties for the departed Yordany Alvarez. If he can continue to improve, he could be a very useful player for us.

Fortunately, he also fits well into the side of the diamond, which lends some value to him moving forward. He'll want to have a strong 2014 and really show that he can be a starting player in this league, but it needs to be a gradual thing: First, he has to show he can be a capable and reliable bench player. I suspect he'll do just that.

Editor's note: This is part of a series of player profiles recapping the 2013 season and previewing the 2014 season. Player ratings were compiled via a vote by RSL Soapbox writers. Statistics are via mlssoccer.com.

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