TUKWILA, Wash. — Playing with a brace on his left arm is teaching Will Bruin some lessons about life, and how to use his body differently. The forward is left-handed, so things like brushing his teeth and hold-up play are impacted. Seattle Sounders FC will need to deal with a key player being limited for about two more weeks.
For now, Brian Schmetzer can use Bruin to change up the style of play from their center forward. Morris fits the speed mold, while Bruin is more a hold-up version of a lone attacker.
“It gives us two different looks, two different dynamics. When I come in I’m going to more link play where Jordan’s playing up there he’s going to get in behind and cause mayhem,” Bruin said after Monday’s practice. “It’s good. The [other] team’s not going to know what we’re going to do and it keeps them on their toes.”
Which hints that maybe Seattle could start Bruin in the near future. Five times this season Bruin has started up top while Jordan Morris played at left mid. Bruin has two of his four goals in those games, both headers. One of Morris’ two goals is in those five matches.
It’s also possible, but unlikely in a starting circumstance, that Morris and Bruin play in a two-forward set.
“I would like to play with him. He can stretch the defenders while I check to and vice versa, so if we get the opportunity to play together we compliment each other very well.”
Bruin also showed a bit of his comedy chops, saying that he can make the same runs Jordan does. “I can make those runs too. I don’t know how long it will take me.”
The big forward, with his arm in kind of mold, has started to earn pop-culture nicknames. Whether fans call him Jax (the Mortal Kombat character who removed his own arms in order to replace them with bionics) or the Summer Soldier (inspired by Bucky Barnes of Captain America: The Winter Soldier) Bruin appreciates it.
“I like that. I’ll take that. After the Houston game a lot of people on Twitter were saying I was Jax from Mortal Kombat, with the bionic arm. That was pretty funny. I’ll take them all.”