Houston forward Will Bruin is having a statement making season in a time when his critics have been itching to write him off.
After scoring 12 goals in his sophomore season and apparently laying claim to the title of heir apparent of Dynamo legend Brian Ching, the fourth year veteran hit the back of the net just eight times in 2013 causing some to wonder if "the dancing bear" had lost his touch.
Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear can hardly believe the discontent leveled against his player.
“I never understood why they were going at him," said Kinnear following Wednesday night's win in which Bruin had the game winner. "I thought it was kind of stupid myself, and it’s the local guys too which is really disappointing. You want a guy who makes good runs and puts away chances all while working hard for the team on both sides of the ball and you have that in him."
With his header against the Crew, Bruin leads Major League Soccer with game winning goals and trails Seattle's Clint Dempsey in the individual scoring race.
Goalkeeper Tally Hall has had a front row seat for all of Bruin's exploits and has seen firsthand the work of the scoring machine.
"I think if you're criticizing Will you're looking at the wrong things because what he does off the ball, the way he works, the way he battles, the way he fights," said Hall. "He does a lot of things for his team that a box score, a stat sheet is never going to show and that's why he's been the player he has since day one. There's a reason he is always on the field. The team needs what he brings."
Bruin is scoring goals like a man possessed. With six goals in ten games and a three game scoring streak in tow, the Dynamo's top pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft is silencing even his harshest critics one goal at a time.