Thursday, November 23, 2017

Former Houston Dynamo star Will Bruin leads Seattle to a 2-0 playoff win

Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
By Lou Roesch
Special Correspondent
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved

HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 23, 2017)  Forward Will Bruin (No. 17, shown left) sealed Seattle’s opening leg win over his former team minutes before halftime on Tuesday night in Houston. Traded following the 2016 season after recording his worst scoring output in his six years as a Dynamo, the veteran rebounded with an 11 goal season in 2017. Bruin has become the perfect complement to Clint Dempsey, national team scoring legend.

Seattle, who seeking its second MLS Cup title in as many seasons, opened the scoring behind a Gustav Svennson header in the eleventh minute. The Swede’s unlikely goal was just in second in 32 appearances with Seattle.

Eighteen minutes later, Houston keeper Joe Willis’ stop of a Seattle penalty conversion only delayed the inevitable giving the record crowd of more than 22,000 Dynamo faithful faint hope that Houston would rebound with a win.

Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
Joevin Jones, pulled down in the box that led to Dynamo defender Jalil Anibaba’s red card departure from the game, delivered a perfect header to the far post. Bruin perfectly position sent a soaring header into the back of the net for his second 2017 playoff goal of the season.  It was also the second goal of the season for the former Dynamo star against his old team this season. His twelfth goal of the season put Houston in a two goal bind from which only five teams in MLS playoff history had ever rebounded to win the match.

“I heard a nice ‘F-U Bruin’ chant, so that was good,” Bruin said with a laugh. “It didn’t surprise me though. I was happy to score and get the win.”

To make matters worse for Houston, Bruin who has scored more goals than any other player at BBVA Compass Stadium raced towards the corner where he would usually greet his Dynamo teammates only this time, no one was there to celebrate the wide-eyed smiling Bruin.

Seattle needs but a 0-0 draw in the leg 2 game on Thursday at home. Bruin, who helped lead Houston to MLS Cup title games in 2011 and 2012 would like nothing more than to eliminate his old team and return the Sounders Major League Soccer’s championship game in 2017. “It would be great to be in Seattle and knock Houston out to go to MLS Cup,” Bruin said with a smile.

Five times in MLS playoffs history has a team come back from 0-2 down to win a game (not series). Never has it been done playing shorthanded.

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