Bruin continued his charmed start to the 2014 season, this time with some help from Montreal defender Eric Miller. Off a throw-in, Giles Barnes laid the ball off to his strike partner, and after settling it, Bruin pulled out his sand wedge to chip a ball off Miller’s foot and over goalkeeper Troy Perkins but under the crossbar for the goal and a 1-0 lead.
With the win Houston improve to 2-0-0 on the season while the Impact remain winless through two games.
Bruin’s goal came after a start that was very different from last week. Instead of flying out of the gates like they did in the season opener, Houston was more measured in the rain and it was the Impact that was active early.
Third-year forward Andrew Wenger had two good chances early to give the visitors a boost, but was bested both times by Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall, who made four saves on the night. The first was early when Hall made himself big to stuff a 1-on-1 chance that David Horst cleaned up. Then a minute before Bruin’s goal, he split Houston’s defenders, but Hall was again up to the task and with the help of Horst again stopped the forward. Wenger would later see Kofi Sarkodie clear his 64th minute shot off the line to add to his struggles on the night.
Driver crashed the back post 10 minutes into the game but a sliding stop from goalkeeper Troy Perkins denied his effort. García missed a clear look to make it two for the home team just minutes into the second half. After picking up a loose ball, García worked his way towards the box but his left-footed effort curled wide.
As Houston tried to pick up the pace, Impact captain Patrice Bernier attempted to make his 2014 debut memorable, coming to within Hall’s fingertips of a goal on his 30-yard effort in the 53rd minute.
Montreal continued to pressure Houston after Bernier’s chance, keeping the ball in the Dynamo's half for long stretches.
The visitors forced Hall back into action in the 62nd minute when Hernan Bernardello forced a sliding save out of Hall. On the ensuing play Sarkodie, who won awards for his double save off the line against D.C. United last year, came up big to keep Wenger’s attempt on Houston’s side of the line and snuff out yet another attack.
As Houston looked to hold on, Bruin came close to adding a second in the 72nd minute. After another knockdown from Barnes, Bruin laced a shot from just outside the box. Perkins was in the right place again to keep his team close in the losing effort.
Houston Dynamo (2-0-0; 6 points) vs. Montreal Impact (0-2-0; 0 points)
MLS regular season
March 15, 2014 – BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, TX
Houston: Will Bruin 3 (Giles Barnes 1) 40
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall; Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, David Horst, Corey Ashe; Andrew Driver (Brian Ownby 82), Ricardo Clark, Boniek Garcia, Brad Davis (Servando Carrasco 86); Will Bruin, Giles Barnes (Mark Sherrod 89)
Unused substitutes: Tyler Deric, A.J. Cochran, Alexander Lopez, Omar Cummings
Montreal Impact: Troy Perkins; Eric Miller, Matteo Ferrari, Hassoun Camara, Jeb Brovsky; Hernan Bernardello (Calum Mallace 85), Patrice Bernier (Blake Smith 72), Felipe Martins, Collen Warner (Santiago Gonzalez 86), Justin Mapp; Andrew Wenger
Unused substitutes: Evan Bush, Heath Pearce, Wandrille Lefevre, Karl Ouimette
HOU: Kofi Sarkodie (caution) 35
HOU: Jermaine Taylor (caution) 52
MTL: Felipe Martins (caution) 59
MTL: Hassoun Camara (caution) 77
MTL: Hernan Bernardello (caution) 78
Referee: Yader Reyes
Assistant Referees: Stefan McHardy, Luis Guardia
Fourth Official: John Dearmond