Sarkodie, Bruin positive trend for Houston

Dynamo move quickly to snag two major talents in first round

HOU_20110113_Draft_Bruin_Sarkodie

Photo Credit: 
Major League Soccer / Tony Quinn

When
Will Bruin turned his phone back on, he had more than 20 text messages and
found, to his surprise, that he was trending on Twitter. It all came as quite a
blur, as did the Houston Dynamo’s flurry of activity in the first round of
Thursday’s MLS SuperDraft.

In
one 20-minute span, the Dynamo drafted defender Kofi Sarkodie – predicted to go
as high has fourth in the draft – with the seventh overall pick and traded into
the No. 11 spot to draft forward Bruin, who had been projected as high as third.
It was quite a coup for head coach Dominic Kinnear, president Chris Canetti,
and their staff, and it sat well with the players too.

“I
know Kofi, who’s another guy who went to Houston, and I’m looking forward to
playing with him because he’s a great player, and he’s a good friend as well,”
said Bruin, who played against Sarkodie in collegiate action over the last
three years.

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The
two players greeted each other several minutes after Bruin’s selection and immediately
began talking like old friends, hopefully for Houston a sign of happy days to
come in Dynamo orange.

Sarkodie’s
selection gives Kinnear numerous options on the back line, where the Dynamo
already have outside backs Hunter Freeman, Mike Chabala, and Jordan Graye and a
versatile option in Andrew Hainault, who can play outside or centrally
alongside Bobby Boswell and Eddie Robinson. Up front, Bruin becomes the fourth Dynamo
forward to stand at least 6 feet, joining Brian Ching, Jason Garey, and Cam
Weaver
.

Standing
6-foot-2, some pundits expected the Dynamo to shy away from Bruin because of
his physical game and similarities to Ching and Weaver. But Kinnear identified
Bruin’s movement off the ball and his partnership with other forwards as one of
his most important attributes.

“The
thing we noticed about him is when he plays with another forward, he combines
very well, and he makes very smart runs,” Kinnear said.

Bruin
echoed his new coach’s sentiments, sounding confident he can get behind MLS
defenses.

 “I’m a big target forward, but I also can surprise
people with some speed,” Bruin said. “I have some finishing ability, so I’m
hoping to put some goals in this year.”

Kinnear
saw Sarkodie, meanwhile, as one of the draft-eligible players most ready to
play at the professional level right now. Although a right back, Sarkodie is
known for his surging attacking runs – he produced eight goals and six assists
at Akron this year – and he said he expects to continue those ways wherever
Kinnear asks him to play.

“I’m
a defender first, but I like to go forward, and I take passion in going forward
and trying to help create,” Sarkodie said. “Hopefully you’ll see a lot of that
this season.”

The
Dynamo hope to be seeing a lot of both Sarkodie and Bruin in 2011, and the two
could help Houston trend back toward the playoffs.