GOAL: Will Bruin puts the Sounders ahead with a great diving header

SEATTLE – Will Bruin was all smiles as he spoke to reporters in front of his locker following the Seattle Sounders1-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo at CenturyLink Field on Sunday.

Seattle’s 27-year-old striker had every reason to be in a jovial mood. He scored the game’s lone goal in the 69th minute of Sunday’s contest to give the Sounders their third 1-0 victory in their last four games.

The icing on the cake? The game-winning tally came against Houston, Bruin’s former team, where he scored 50 goals over the course of six seasons from 2011-2016.

“I’ve just got to smile real big,” Bruin said. “It was good. I think the three points is great. [Against the Dynamo], it makes it a little sweeter.”

Bruin didn’t perform an especially demonstrative celebration after netting against his former running mates, but he did stand in the goal with his arms raised immediately following the tally.

He then flashed what has become his trademark double thumbs up – a reference to when he made the same gesture to a referee that had just issued him a yellow card in Seattle’s 3-3 draw against the New England Revolution back on April 29.

“I kind of just tried to take in for a little bit,” Bruin said. “It was cool just seeing how loud [the fans] were and when I gave them the two thumbs up I could tell they got a little louder, so that was pretty fun.”

Bruin’s game-winner came in his first appearance since he dislocated his elbow in Seattle’s 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake on May 20, an ailment that forced him to wear a protective sleeve for Sunday’s match.

In fact, it was a game-time decision as to whether he would play at all on Sunday. Bruin said he still doesn’t have full extension on the elbow but added that he didn’t feel as though re-aggravated the injury during Sunday’s match.

“He’s a tough kid,” Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer said. “He wasn’t worried about it. [The coaching staff] was worried about it and how it affected his movement, his running, his balance. Some of those things we were what we were concerned about, but he proved tonight that he was willing to sacrifice and get on the end of a header and challenge with a bunch of big defenders.”