NEW YORK – The first hat trick of the 2011 MLS season was the work of a rookie and he reaped the rewards on Monday.
Houston Dynamo forward Will Bruin, the No. 11 pick in the 2011 SuperDraft, scored three times against D.C. United on Friday night to earn the MLS Player of the Week award as voted by the North American Soccer Reporters.
The former Indiana Hoosier scored in the 4th, 41st and 57th minutes to lead the Dynamo to a 4-1 romp over visiting DC in front of a national television audience on Fox Soccer. Two of the goals came on headers, both from crosses by teammate Brad Davis. He took a feed from Geoff Cameron and showed off fine touch and strong finishing skills on his first strike.
The hat trick lifts Bruin to four goals on the season, just seven shy of Damani Ralph's all-time rookie record in 2003. And it also puts him in elite company as only three other MLS rookies have netted three goals in a game during their first year as professionals: Brian Maisonneuve (1996), Pat Noonan (2003) and Zack Schilawski (2010).
The St. Louis, Mo., native is making an early claim for Rookie of the Year honors, starting every league match for the Dynamo this year.
WATCH: FULL MATCH HIGHLIGHTS - HOU 4, DC 1
PREVIOUS PLAYER OF THE WEEK WINNERS
Week 7: Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo)
Week 6: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
Week 5: Luke Rodgers (New York Red Bulls)
Week 4: David Ferreira (FC Dallas)
Week 3: Camilo (Vancouver Whitecaps)
Week 2: Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake)
Week 1: Omar Bravo (Sporting Kansas City)