'Dancing Bear' Bruin nets decisive goal

Rookie comes off bench to provide game-winner against San Jose

HOU_20110917_Getty_02_Bruin

Photo Credit: 
Bob Levey / Getty Images

There may not have been a better time for a bear to reappear at Robertson Stadium.

With his team pushing for a much-sought-after three points at home,
Will “the Dancing Bear” Bruin found his scoring touch in the 79th minute
to give the Houston Dynamo a 2-1 home victory. The win pushes the
Dynamo to 39 points — just two behind Eastern Conference leader Columbus — and
provides a boost to the team’s already solid playoff chances.

“I’m happy for him, and his goal was the winning goal, so I’m happy
for that too,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “It relieves a lot of
pressure. The one thing he said coming off the field was, ‘That was a
long time coming.’ The kid works hard, and his run was excellent.”

GAME NIGHT:
DYNAMO 2, SAN JOSE 1

Bruin – who tied Geoff Cameron for the club rookie record for MLS appearances
in a season with 23 – came into the game at the 74-minute mark. Five
minutes into his first league appearance at home since a knee injury cost him
the month of August, the rookie struck and sent 18,129 Houston fans home
happy.

On the goal, newcomer Luiz Camargo – who started his second straight
match in central midfield – found space up the right flank and sent a
probing cross into the box. Bruin made a quick decision to finish with
his left foot and put the winner across San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch.

The tally ended Bruin's nearly five-month scoring drought — he last
scored on April 29 against D.C. United — and gives him the scoring lead
for MLS rookies with five goals on the season. Accompanying the goal was what is becoming Bruin’s signature celebration — the dancing bear.

“I don’t think, until this year when I met Will, I’ve ever been
excited to see a guy dance like a bear,” goalkeeper Tally Hall said.
“Every time I see it I’m pretty happy. He’s one of those guys that’s always trying to get more information
and make smarter runs and be a better teammate. He’s put in the work
every single day, and today it paid off.”

With some of the pressure off, Bruin’s confidence received a boost — and the rookie's scoring touch would be welcomed down
the stretch.

“It was definitely a confidence-booster, getting back on the scoresheet,” Bruin said. “It’s been a while, since April, so it was a
confidence-booster and a great time to do it with the late [playoff]
push.”

Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.