[MLS SPOTLIGHT on HOUSTON] On a night when the Houston Dynamo honored former keeper Pat Onstad, now a D.C. United player and assistant coach, it unleashed an attack that would test just about any goalie.
Recently signed Spanish striker Koke made his debut for the Dynamo, and Brian Ching came off the bench to play the final nine minutes, but by then rookie Will Bruin had smashed home a hat trick in a 4-1 rout of United on Friday.
Bruin controlled a through pass from Geoff Cameron to open the scoring in the fourth minute, and then buried powerful headers on a cross and a corner kick by Brad Davis to finish off his hat trick in the 57th minute.
Bruin, 21, scored 33 goals in three seasons at Indiana before signing with MLS, and Houston took him with the No. 11 overall selection. He got his first MLS goal in a 3-1 defeat of Vancouver three weeks ago and cited a few misses against the Revs in a 1-1 tie as extra motivation.
“Against New England, I had some chances and didn’t put them away and as a forward, you’ve got to have a short memory,” said Bruin to mlssoccer.com.
His nickname of “Dancing Bear” stems from – besides his name -- a celebratory goal dance that the national TV audience on Fox Soccer Channel saw plenty of. “Tonight I finished, so hopefully we can keep it going.”
The hat trick moved him into the team lead in goals with four, one more than Cam Weaver, who rounded off the rout in the 62nd minute. Bruin is the first Dynamo rookie to score a hat trick.
Ching, bothered by a separated rib, has played in only three games this season; concerns about his health prompted the signing of Koke (real name: Sergio Contreras Pardo), who had been playing in Greece.
“The team played very well tonight,” said Coach Dominic Kinnear. “Offensively, we were very potent. It’s great to see Will [Bruin] score a hat trick. His goals came in all different fashions. He was a handful for D.C.”
Houston, which was moved to the Eastern Conference after five seasons as a Western team, is tied for third place with Columbus at 3-1-3 (12 points) and hosts defending champion Colorado Wednesday.
Will Bruin's hat trick: