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Scouting Will Bruin

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Sounders acquire solid hold-up player that scores goals.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Editor’s note: Gribbs is an editor at Dynamo Theory. Will Bruin spent all six of his professional seasons with the Houston Dynamo.

Will Bruin has established himself as a consistent and reliable option at the forward position in Major League Soccer. He’s capable of scoring 10+ goals a season in a starting role, he’s an accurate shooter, and he’s strong both in the air and with his ball at his feet as a hold up type player. While last season was easily his worst season in terms of production, the offense in general for Houston was the 2nd worst in the league and much of that was due to poor possession in the final third of the field and a lack of support to the attacking players. That does well to illustrate another type of player that Bruin is, as he’s more of a striking partner than an offensive anchor. He is at his best when he’s next to someone in the attack rather than bearing the complete offensive burden in a lone striker system.

Will Bruin is not the fastest player in the league by any stretch, but he’s more than capable of beating defenders in foot races for the ball or in breakaway opportunities. His shot and aerial prowess are easily his strongest traits as he can beat goalkeepers from just about anywhere inside the 18 yard box from the run or play or on set pieces. His passing, vision, and dribbling have come under scrutiny at times by Houston fans, but he’s come a long way to dispel many of those criticisms.

Ultimately, Seattle is left with a proven goal scorer in this league. Put the ball at his feet near the goal and he’ll test any goalkeeper. He’s a forward that requires a system that provides support to him as he can easily become overwhelmed with too much defensive pressure, but he will thrive under the right conditions. In Houston that system did not grant Bruin many favors in 2016 and he suffered for it. Nicknamed “the Dancing Bear”, Bruin will get hungry for goals and Seattle’s midfield will do well to feed him the ball.