Over the first six seasons of his professional career, Will Bruin successfully led the line for the Houston Dynamo before being acquired by the Seattle Sounders ahead of the 2017 season, where he has continued a high level of consistency in MLS.
In those six seasons with Houston, Bruin scored 50 goals and added 20 assists, and has notched 17 goals and seven assists since heading to the Pacific Northwest. On Monday night, Bruin's past and present meet as the Sounders host the Dynamo (10:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info), giving Bruin the opportunity to discuss the differences in clubs.
"It's hard to answer with how the league has evolved since my first few years," Bruin told SoundersFC.com in a conversation about his past and present teams. "The first thing that comes to mind here is all the sports science and data that goes along with training and prepping to the game. All the lead up to make sure you're physically ready.
"My first few years in Houston, Dom [Kinnear] ran it, he was very old school. He was like 'how you feel? You better feel good for the game.' Here it's more analytical, which is good and bad. Sometimes they tell you that you can't do extra because you've had a hard workload when you feel like you can, but at the end of the day, they're looking out for your best interest."
The culture around Seattle is demanding, Bruin explained, as the pressure to be successful is constantly high. They have never missed the MLS Cup Playoffs since entering the league in 2009, and were in real danger of breaking that streak earlier this season, but carried by a historic win streak, the Sounders are currently on the right side of the playoff line.
"I love it," Bruin said on the pressure to win. "If you let losing or not making the playoffs become acceptable, then you can fall in a trap of 'oh it's alright, next year.' The fact that it's not okay, and that we don't accept it, we're writing the way this club is. It's a great mentality to have, it's a winning mentality. It's still early in the history of this club, but it's off to a great start."
They haven't clinched a postseason berth yet, but a win against Houston would get them awfully close. A loss would see Seattle fall into a fight with the Vancouver Whitecaps, LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake for the Western Conference's final two playoff places.