Every article and preview on the Houston Dynamo in 2014 has stated the obvious, that Will Bruin must convert more clear cut opportunities this season. It is a story heading into this season because according to Opta stats he had more clear cut chances in MLS than any other player.
As a striker you grab the glory when scoring goals and can be fairly and unfairly criticized when you aren’t. Still we must consider all the responsibility placed on the striker position in the modern age.
From being a “possession” player and providing the hold up play, to being a provider for others via the pass and link play, making a variety of runs and movement off the ball and then to all the DEFENDING they must do, the job description has clearly changed in the last 15 years. Yet sometimes strikers must not forget that scoring goals lies in the criteria of the position.
Last night Will Bruin picked up his third goal of the year and it turned out to be a game winner against the Montreal Impact.
On this night his finish took a deflection and gratutiously nestled into the Montreal goal behind Troy Perkins but his willingness to shoot must be applauded! After two stunning goals against NE in the 4-0 win , Bruin now has 3 in 2 games! What a way to start the season!
Still for me, the contributions from the man go far deeper in this match. His overall effort, willingness to lead the line from the front and lead his teammates through effort was impressive.
On this night his defensive work was exceptional for a striker, numerous times he came back in midfield to disrupt Montreal attacks vertically and at times was even in his own penalty area defending during the run of play and on set pieces.
Oh, and lets not forget that his near post run dragged a Montreal defender out of the middle so Giles Barnes could find the trailing Andrew Driver.
The goals are pouring in for Bruin right now which is a great sign but it is a great time to take stock in his OVERALL game and CONTRIBUTIONS in other areas. Does healthy pressure and attendance have some motivating factor in all of this?
Regardless of what the answer is, this healthy pressure is a clear statement the game is growing and maturing in MLS.