Little has gone right for Will Bruin over the past four matches and the Houston Dynamo forward admits that it’s getting to him.
“I felt myself dwelling on my missed chances the last few games,” Bruin told the media Tuesday. “I put a lot of pressure on myself to score. I want to be the guy who scores. When you put that much pressure on yourself, sometimes, you take it a little harder, personally.”
Battling pressure is not new for Bruin. He’s often spoke about a 2011 rookie season that taught him how to deal with adversity and adjusting to the highs and lows of being professional striker.
Now in 2013, he's dealing with a situation where he’s doing plenty right -- Bruin continues to work hard during matches and get into the right spots -- but the final product is not there. In the last four games, he’s had seven clear chances, none have hit the back of the net and that has coincided with the Dynamo going winless in their last four games.
“Sometimes you’re not going to score and you have to be able to take the brunt of it,” Bruin remarked. “That’s something that I’ve got to be mentally stronger. Since I’ve been here, [goals] have come in bundles and they don’t come in bundles. That’s the life of a forward.”
As he and the club look to finish strong and make the postseason, the Dynamo forward is working to relieve some of the pressure and get back his scoring touch.
Bruin’s solution for his struggles is simple: Get out of his own head and make every training session count. While the pressure is always there, the 6-foot-2 striker wants to find that even-keeled approach he used last year to the tune of 12 goals.
“There’s pressure every single game," said Dynamo assistant coach Wade Barrett. "It's Major League Soccer, there’s something on the line every single time you step on the field. Will’s put himself in good spots and is working hard. If he stops working hard, then we’ll have something to worry about.”
With the Dynamo supporting him, Bruin will get the time he needs to work out of his slump. Like his team, Bruin’s back at the drawing board working on a way to break out of a slump that he knows will not last forever.
“It’s like a boxing fight. You take blows, you take hits, but you get back up from them,” Bruin said about his and his team's recent fortunes. “I want to be the guy that gets the goal at the end of the game. It’s part of the job and is what it is. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.