Will Bruin may have 62 more career MLS goals than Sounders teammate Jordy Delem, but they both looked equally hopeless trying to celebrate scoring efforts in Sunday's win over Minnesota United FC
One guy has 63 career Major League Soccer goals, the other just one. But Sounders forward Will Bruin and midfielder Jordy Delem both showed last Sunday they are equally hopeless at generating much of a post-scoring celebration.
On Wednesday, as the Sounders resumed training ahead of Sunday’s match at Los Angeles FC, Bruin admitted he “blacks out” after goals and doesn’t think much about how to celebrate. That showed following his goal, the second of a 3-1 Sounders victory over Minnesota United FC, when the eight-year veteran flapped his arms and awkwardly attempted what looked like a midair scissor-kick before being mobbed by teammates.
“I was trying to think of something cool to do,” Bruin said. “Then, it turned out not to be very cool at all. It was kind of a little skip-hop.”
The tall-and-stocky Bruin became known as “The Dancing Bear” his rookie 2011 season with Houston because of a strange jig he danced after each goal of a hat-trick in one game, which observers likened to a bear waving its paws. He was ridiculed by teammates and the nickname stuck, despite the low-key Bruin never again attempting the same moves.
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Bruin hopes this latest “dumb” celebration doesn’t gain a video shelf life. “It’s not going to be like ‘The Dancing Skip’ or something,” he said. “But you never know.”
As for Delem, the second-year Sounder hadn’t scored for any team since November 2015 — which had been his first and only goal as a professional — while still with a reserve squad for French side AC Aries-Avignon. So, when he added an insurance marker for the Sounders in the dying seconds of stoppage time, the Martinique native just stood there and later admitted he doesn’t have a celebratory move.
“I don’t really score too much, so not really,” he said. “When you score like this, you don’t know what to do. You become crazy in your head. I just had that handshake with (Clint) Dempsey, that was it.”
Dempsey, who’d assisted on the goal, bailed Delem out by rushing over to engage him in a coordinated series of handshakes and fistbumps.
“At the beginning of the season we did work on this,” Delem said of the handshaking, adding they’ll sometimes go over it mornings before practice as a refresher. “Now, it’s automatic.”
Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer doesn’t much care what his players do after scoring, as long as they put the ball in the net. The 1-3-1 squad now had five goals its last two matches after not scoring at all the first three.
Bruin has two of those goals and admitted he felt some good chemistry Sunday working alongside Cristian Roldan, who’d been bumped up a level to the attacking midfield with the return of Osvaldo Alonso from an injury layoff. The early success of the Roldan brothers, Cristian and Alex, in an attacking midfield trio with Nicolas Lodeiro, has raised questions about Dempsey’s role going forward.
Dempsey was a second half substitute against Minnesota and that could again be the case against the expansion L.A. side as Schmetzer contemplates going with the same group to start.
“I’ve got some options,” he said.
Victor Rodriguez could also see his first game action of 2018 after rehabilitating a knee injury, creating an attacking midfield logjam of sorts. Center back Kim Kee-hee also resumed full training Wednesday for the first time since a calf muscle strain last month. Schmetzer warned that veterans in multiple spots on the field — not just Dempsey — could soon be fighting to make it into the starting lineup.
“They all want to play and that’s a good thing for the coaches to have,” Schmetzer said. “It’s not just going to be that position. When Kim Kee-hee, Victor Rodriguez and all of those guys come back, there will be a lot of tough choices for the coaching staff.”