24 Under 24 (2012): #11 Will Bruin (IMAGE)
Gabriel de los Rios / MLSsoccer.com

24 Under 24: #11 Will Bruin, Houston Dynamo

11. Will Bruin

Pos: F | Houston Dynamo | Age: 22

The young Dynamo forward had a chip on his shoulder heading into the 2012 MLS season. First there was his exclusion from the US Olympic roster and then there was the disappointment of losing his starting spot midway through 2011 after a strong start to his rookie season with the Dynamo. Bruin has been a man on a mission this year, determined to show he was a finisher and he has delivered with 11 tallies thus far. But with one goal in his last eight starts and a new 4-3-3 formation that he's still adjusting to, Dynamo fans will want to see Bruin regain that scoring form as he prepares to permanently take the mantle of target forward from club legend Brian Ching.

What the TDs and coaches like: “Very, very talented striker … Big kid who combines power with pace and soft feet. His improvement from last year to this year is in finishing plays off. You could see he’s shown a great deal of improvement in front of goal, whether that’s finishing a cross or balls played in over the top … He’s got a bright future, no doubt … Very powerful striker and good aggression … Perfect for MLS: strong, courageous and a good finisher with his feet as well as with his head … Good powerful explosion … Is a handful in every MLS match … A big body who throws his weight around … Good target player more in the mold of a John Wolyniec even in a Brian Ching in a sense, but Ching's a little more technically gifted.”

Where TDs and coaches want improvement: “His play with back to goal is one of the things he needs to work most on … He needs to improve play between 18s and improve on his finishing. Typical of bigger, more powerful strikers, needs to improve his movement and getting in behind defenders … He needs to focus on his strengths and try not to overdo it: Just being a target man, like a Lenhart, getting the ball, laying it off, spinning, that's his game.”

Opta Says: Will Bruin has more goals (11) in MLS this year than any other player under 24.

Tale of the Tape
Last Year in 24U24: NR
Fan Ranking: #10
Castrol Index (as of 9/13/12): #24

2012 Stats
Matches played: 27
Matches started: 26
Goals: 11
Assists: 3

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