Houston Dynamo forward Will Bruin was voted Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 7 of the 2011 MLS season. Bruin scored a hat trick in the Dynamo’s 4-1 victory over D.C. United. Bruin becomes the first player of 2011 to record a hat trick and the first rookie this season to be named Player of the Week. See the full match highlights HERE.
Bruin put the Dynamo ahead in the fourth minute after Geoff Cameron stole the ball in the D.C. half. Cameron slotted a pass behind the D.C. backline, putting in Bruin alone to face goalkeeper Bill Hamid. Bruin coolly fired a low shot inside the near-post for the 1-0 lead.
With the game tied 1-1 in the 41st minute, Cameron sent Brad Davis into the left corner with a through ball. Reaching the ball just before it reached the end line, Davis delivered a curling cross to Bruin, who beat his marker for an emphatic header into the net.
In the 57th minute, Bruin connected on another Davis cross to complete his hat trick. This time Davis’ pinpoint service came from a free kick on the left flank. In a crowded penalty area, Bruin timed his leap perfectly and smashed a header just beneath the crossbar, offering Hamid no chance.
Bruin was selected 11th overall by Houston at the 2011 MLS SuperDraft after scoring 33 goals in 66 games over three seasons at Indiana University. He was a finalist for the M.A.C. Hermann Award as a junior.
Bruin has four goals this season for Houston and is the fourth rookie in MLS history to score a hat trick; Brian Maisonneuve, Pat Noonan, and Zack Schilawski are the others. Bruin is the second youngest player in League history to score a hat trick (21 years, 187 days – 17 days older than Stern John was in 1998).
The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media. More information and membership information can be found at http://www.soccerreporters.com/.
This week I gave my No. 1 vote to Bruin, my No. 2 to Brad Evans.