When Will Bruin headed a Nicolas Lodeiro free kick off the crossbar in stoppage time against Sporting Kansas City Sunday, whispers may have gone around that a witch doctor had cursed the Seattle Sounders to never again grace the back of a net after three and a half league matches without a goal. When Bruin punched in a looping assist from Chad Marshall initiated by a throw-in moments later, the doubts vanished for fans and players alike.
Speaking to the media Thursday, Bruin said the moment was transformational from the frustrations of the earlier miss.
“Anger to happiness,” Bruin said. “I got great service from Nico on the first one. Didn’t put it in when I should have put it in, but you see how quickly things can change. I was happy to get the first one especially after some of their fans were chirping me.”
Bruin went on to say that netting the first goal of the year had been a point of emphasis in training leading up to Sunday’s match.
“The longer you go without scoring, the more pressure you feel internally,” Bruin said. “You may not talk about it, but everybody knows. It’s unspoken. The week leading up, just making sure we’re seeing a lot of the ball hitting the net. Psychologically, when you see the ball hit the back of the net, you can translate it into the game.”
Now, Bruin says, the goals and the road point have given the team something to build off of as they prepare to host Minnesota United on Sunday.
“We’re definitely still hungry for a win,” Bruin said. “Getting that first point, that first goals are kind of like the monkey off the back. Coming back home, it’s definitely a moment to build on, but we’ve got to build on it. There are no easy games in this league. We’ve got to make sure that we can get our first three points at home on Sunday.”