HOUSTON – Will Bruin got a taste of the senior US national team for the first time in his pro career during January camp. Now he wants more.
The Houston Dynamo forward is hoping he can make his return during this summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup, a tournament for which USMNT coaches may need to lean on MLS talent.
“The Gold Cup would be awesome,” Bruin told MLSsoccer.com. “I want to be a part of that. But it starts here with Houston and having a good beginning of the year here and showing that I can be in form come time when Jurgen [Klinsmann] makes decisions.”
Only two years after being drafted out of Indiana University, the striker put himself on display for USMNT head coach Klinsmann with the goal of proving that he belongs at the international level. By all accounts, he impressed the coaching staff in California.
Now back in camp with his club team, the Dynamo's leading scorer from 2012 (16 goals, including the postseason) has internalized a key lesson driven home by a coach that Bruin knows has a good idea of what it takes to be successful at the highest levels at the same position.
“Always challenge yourself. That’s one thing I took away from [Klinsmann] is never be content and always be challenging yourself,” Bruin said. “That’s what he did during his career and he scored a lot of goals. He doesn’t want you to play scared. He wants you to go out and play loose and free and take risk.”
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Now the question is whether Bruin take that experience and early success and turn it into progress.
For Bruin, the key is simple: Keep working hard. Bruin was quick to admit that his past success was only a jumping-off point and that taking the next step, which for him is improving on last season, is the immediate goal.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.