SEATTLE — When Will Bruin came to the Seattle Sounders this past offseason, he was mainly known as a physical forward with a reliable scoring touch. He was not someone who was generally known for his finesse or passing.
Bruin has held up his end of the scoring expectation, bagging 11 regular-season goals and two more in the playoffs. Lately, he’s started showing other sides of his game, namely some rather clever passing.
The best example of that to date came on Thursday, when his side-footed pass in traffic put Victor Rodriguez in all alone on goal (video above).
Said Bruin: “The last few weeks, Schmetz has been saying ‘In the final third, try things. It’s OK if you lose the ball in the final third as long as you apply some immediate pressure and try to win it back.’ I think we’ve been doing that in training and it translates into the game. You don’t think about it, you just try things.”
The scoring sequence is also an example of how pressure in the offensive end can help create chances, as it starts with the Sounders retaining possession after a missed clearance. Although Nicolas Lodeiro is then forced to recycle it after getting stuck toward the end line, the Sounders are able to shift back into attack mode within a few touches, culminating in a perfectly executed give-and-go between Bruin and Rodriguez.
Bruin freely admitted that he wouldn’t have tried something like that earlier in the year, but familiarity and confidence from his teammates has helped bring him here.
“Everybody’s been really good and now you can try things in the final third and no one’s going to be mad, because you know things like three goals tonight can happen,” he said.