The end has finally come after a highly controversial six years with the Houston Dynamo as Will Bruin has been traded to the Seattle Sounders.
After an impressive college career at Indiana, including runner-up for the Mac Hermann Trophy, Bruin joined the Dynamo in 2011 with the 11th overall draft pick. He came with lots of promise and at just the right time for the club. Brian Ching was on the outs and a replacement was needed. Everyone thought Bruin could be that guy: the go-to striker for the big games, willing to do what it takes for the team to win.
It didn’t quite turn out that way, of course.
He certainly got off to a good start, scoring 5 goals in 25 matches during his rookie campaign. The following season saw him score a dozen goals in the regular season while chipping in four more to lead the Dynamo to MLS Cup.
Everyone thought, “This is the guy.”
The following season wasn’t half bad, either, with 8 goals and another pair in the playoffs. But that was the season, 2013, where cracks could be noticed. Bruin hadn’t made the next jump in production fans were hoping for. His play became erratic and frustrating.
Despite scoring double-digit goals in both the following years, fans and critics turned on him. Instead of being the goal scorer the team desperately needed, Bruin could only manage to hang around the dozen goal mark.
Last season was entirely forgettable and was his worst as a profession with only 18 starts and four goals.
Plenty of people pointed out that Bruin wasn’t be used to maximize his strengths, which was certainly true. Under Owen Coyle and Wade Barrett, the “Dancing Bear” as he was once called (by Dom himself), he was left alone at the top of the formation without a dynamic playmaker underneath him and wingers incapable of chipping in the needed offense to compensate for what he lacked. This lead to a stagnant offense and Bruin attempting to work his way around two or three defenders.
When the coaches moved to a counter attacking style, it suited Bruin even less. He is an amazing sprinter but on the counter there is simply too much time and field for a defender to catch up to him.
What he needed was a partner but due to deficiencies in the back, he rarely got one. Fans figured that at the end of the 2015 season, it was time to move on. Instead he got a new contract that nearly doubled what he was earning on his initial deal. For a franchise that was struggling with cap issues and trust amongst the fans, this didn’t go down well. Bruin’s performance last season only made it worse.
Whether you think Bruin failed the team or vice versa, it’s long past time for Will to move on and attempt to find his form elsewhere.
Despite how things ended for Will, it wasn’t all bad. Even this past season he had a highlight moment when he danced around young FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez to cap a night that no one will ever forget.
It was Bruin’s brace against the Chicago Fire in the playoffs that lead to the creation of the dreaded Noodle Time. Loved by Dynamo fans, hated by the rest of the league for its absurdity.
His consistent ability to destroy DC United. It felt like he could and would score a hat trick on them every time.
With Will out of the team, the forward corps looks thus:
Mauro Manotas, Erick Torres, Alberth Ellis
Freeing up the cap space from Bruin’s salary, plus [insert what we got here] means it’s a good deal all around. The Dynamo get breathing room in the cap while the fans no longer can debate and argue over the qualities, or lack thereof, of Bruin.
What do you guys think of the move? Glad he is gone or did you think Wilmer Cabrera could find Bruin’s form? Whatever your thoughts, drop them in the comment section below or hit us up on Twitter or Facebook.