Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer says scoring threat Will Bruin will see more playing time Sunday when the offensively-struggling Sounders head on the road to play the Los Angeles Galaxy.
After an opening six games in which they’ve managed a lone first half goal, the Sounders plan to use substitute Will Bruin earlier on during their upcoming road contest Sunday against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer wouldn’t say whether Bruin will start or come off the bench, but odds are it’s the former as he looks to jumpstart an attack that’s had chances but failed to put them away. Bruin, a career 50-goal scorer in Houston, has made the most of his limited chances this season with two goals already and several near ones.
“He will probably see a little bit more playing time,” Schmetzer said. “Obviously, things are always fluid in our sport. But Will has worked hard. He’s been a good team guy and you like to reward guys like that.”
Bruin starting would likely come at the expense of midfielder Harry Shipp, an excellent possession player that fits the style of what the Sounders hope to do. But Bruin has a natural knack for burying chances in the back of the net, which has been the team’s greatest weakness to date.
“Will can still play possession,” Schmetzer countered. “It’s not like he’s one-dimensional. He does his fair share of good things. Every player has his strenghths and weaknesses. You want to talk about desire, Will’s desire in and around the 18 (yard box), putting himself in spots…running in front of a goalkeeper who’s charging out full steam…Will kind of checks that box.”
And besides, as Schmetzer has noted previusly, all the possession in the world won’t matter if your team can’t score. The Sounders controlled the ball more than 60 percent of the time against the Vancouver Whitecaps, but still lost 2-1.
Schmetzer’s team is also still hurting on the back-line as Chad Marshall and Oneil Fisher were absent from Friday’s workout in Tukwila. Marshall has back issues while Fisher is again nursing a hamstring problem that initially sidelined him late last month.
Roman Torres is already on-the-mend from a leg issue and it’s not yet certain he’ll make the trip. In other words, midfielder Gustav Svensson will again be pressed into starting service at center back and the Sounders will have more than just their forwards to worry about.
Then again, to hear those forwards tell it, they’re doing everything but finishing off that final pass nowadays, so things are not as dire as they may seem from a goal-scoring perspective.
Second-year Uruguayan import Nicolas Lodeiro said the team controlled most of the Vancouver game and only lost because of a few near-misses, including putting balls off the crossbar and post. But Lodeiro agrees the team must get more aggressive earlier on in games and not wait until trailing late to turn on the firepower. He says it’s only a matter of time before he, Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris begin connecting and expects them to come out strong against the Galaxy.
Loderio and he notices opposing defenders marking him a lot more than they did when he joined the league last July.
“Last year, I was new in the league so they had to adjust to me,” he said, through an interpreter. “This year, I’ve noticed that the defenders understand me. They understand my movements. So, it’s about me moving quicker, passing quicker, thinking quicker and learning about the other teams quicker, so we can put ourselves in a better position to win the match.”