For those who were considering writing off Houston Dynamo forward Will Bruin after what many thought was a disappointing 2013 campaign, you might want to rethink that line of thought. Bruin exploded in the season opener for two goals and an assist leading the Orange to a 4-0 win over the New England Revolutions.
It took Bruin exactly sixty three seconds and one shot in 2014 to hit the back of the net. The fourth year pro's goal was the second fastest in franchise history, second only to Craig Waibel's :47 second goal on October 16, 2006 against the Colorado Rapids. Twelve minutes later, the Dancing Bear was at it again. Two shots. Two goals. He was putting his words into action, one boot at a time.
"Last season is over with," Bruin said following one day's preseason practice. "I’m going to have to try and be the catalyst in the attack and bring plays and be more of a playmaker up front, which is what I’m trying to do, and that’ll lead to more assists and goals as well.”
Was the former Indiana Hoosier star who booted in 12 goals and four assists 2012 really a bust in 2013 netting eight goals and seven assists? Like Tiger Woods in golf, Bruin set the standard high in 2012 for himself. some may be surprised to hear that Bruin's production towards his team's effort in 2013 was actually better then in his "break out" season of 2012. Combining his numbers of 12 goals and 4 assists in the 2012 "breakout season" Bruin had a hand in 16 of his team's 48 goals for a 33 percent production average. In 2013, the team put 41 goals in the net and the Dynamo forward with eight goals and seven assists had a hand in 15 goals for a 36.5 production average. Since arriving in 2011, the forward has had a hand in his team's scoring with a 45% production average. His personal scoring production over that time is 29.8 percent.
But being a top tier soccer player and team leader is more then just putting the ball into the back of the net. It is about the work ethic and example, a player sets on the practice field and on the pitch come gameday. Bruin's work ethic and example has never been drawn into question by his coach or his teammates.
"Will works as hard as anyone off the ball to put himself in a position from which to score," said Kinnear. "If he wasn't getting chances, I'd be worried but he is and I'm not."
Following Bruin's performance on Saturday, fellow forward Giles Barnes told reporters;
"Everyone in this locker room knew what he was capable of, but to come out and get two goals was good for him and you can see from the celebrations that we were all happy for him.”
Now at least for one game, Bruin's brace should be enpugh to silence the critics.