As a rookie, Will Bruin used a hat trick performance against D.C. United to announce himself to the league. Two years later, he used a performance against D.C. to show just how far he’s come since then.
Bruin was at the center of a 4-0 Houston Dynamo rout of D.C. at RFK Stadium and it was the most complete performance of the young forward’s career. With two goals and two assists, Bruin was the leader in the attack, both on and off the ball – more than just a goalscorer, but a hub through which the Houston offense flowed.
“I think he’s just hungry. He wants to improve,” Bobby Boswell told MLSsoccer.com. “We call him angry sometimes because he really does get angry out there and wants to impose his games on other guys. He’s a guy that I don’t think you want to play against.”
D.C. likely agrees with their former defender’s assessment, as they have repeatedly seen the best of Bruin. He now has nine goals in nine games against the Capital club.
In the process of scoring this latest pair, Bruin showed he can get it done with technique and physicality. First he used a world-class touch to get in on goal to score his first, then 60 minutes later he showed his power by shrugging off Dejan Jackovic to get to a Brian Ching flick and put away his second.
But it was o’t just his goals that stood out. It was the work he does in the other moments that show his maturation from his rookie hat trick. Most notable was his ability to create for his teammates.
“I think I’ve matured so much since that hat trick game my first year,” Bruin told MLSsoccer.com. “As a forward you want to be greedy, but you have to know when to be greedy and when to lay it off. Other times I would’ve tried to be greedy and score those myself. If there’s an open net I’ll lay it off every time.”
While Bruin seems to pick on D.C., it’s ironic that if not for the Vancouver Whitecaps taking Omar Salgado he could have ended up on the other side of the ball tonight. It’s safe to say, Bruin and the Dynamo are happy with the way things turned out, especially after 4-0 win on the road.
“It’s worked out great for Will and I think for us,” head coach Dominic Kinnear told MLSsoccer.com. “I thought Will was great tonight, I really do. I thought he looked good and his work off the ball defensively to be the first line of defense, I thought he was very, very good tonight.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.