Will Bruin is going to have to come up with a new goal.
The Houston Dynamo striker aimed to score eight goals in 2012. Fifteen games into the season and the second-year striker already has nine tallies, which is already good for the fourth highest single-season goal total in franchise history. His exploits are providing the type of go-to scoring that is putting other teams in the MLS on alert.
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“Will’s been great, there’s something to say about a confident forward and a guy who has some swag,” defender Bobby Boswell said about his teammate. “I don’t know if you’d ever say if Will has that pretty-boy swag that you have in the rap songs, but he’s got a swagger about him that he’s going to score goals and other teams aren’t handling it well.”
TEXT BRUIN TO 22442 TO SEND WILL BRUIN TO THE ALL-STAR TEAM
Bruin, 22, has shown that confidence in spades early in 2012. He is finding chances, finishing well, and, as always, working tirelessly.
That effort and production is meriting legitimate talk about being an All-Star and breaking the franchise record of 13 goal, set by Brian Ching in 2008. He is also starting to put himself in some quality company as the 6-foot-2 hitman’s production has him tied for third on the MLS goals scored list alongside international star Thierry Henry.
While the talk is ramping up regarding Bruin’s star being on the rise, the forward is making sure to keep his feet firmly on the ground. It’s a trait that he believes is a key part to his second-year success.
“Last year, it would’ve got to me, but this year I’ve learned that you can’t really listen to what people say,” the striker said. “I’m a lot stronger mentally compared to last year. I’m all better for it this year and I just don’t let things get to me anymore.
“My job is to go out and score,” Bruin continued. “I’ve been getting a lot of good service and they’ve been making it easy on me.”
While Bruin is finding motivation in just "doing his job," Boswell has a differing opinion on why the striker has blossomed in year two.
“I think he was tired of us defenders talk a lot of trash about being Golden Boot winners,” said Boswell, who with fellow defender Geoff Cameron and Bruin, was one of four players to lead Houston with five goals in 2011.
“He’s made it tough for anyone to catch him this year,” Boswell continued. “I think last year he felt like he could’ve scored a lot more goals than he did. I think he’s finding himself in front of the goal and this year he’s putting them away.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.