The Dancing Bear is back for an encore performance.
The Seattle Sounders announced on Thursday that striker Will Bruin, who first joined the club in 2017, has agreed to a contract extension that will keep him the Pacific Northwest for the 2022 season.
“First of all, I love being part of a winning organization and I think we have the best fans in the league,” Bruin told the media at training on Thursday. “So, playing here is an awesome experience and I’m happy to continue doing it.”
Bruin enters his sixth season in Seattle, tallying 28 goals and 15 assists in MLS competitions with the club. A key veteran presence in the locker room, Seattle’s No. 17 has demonstrated a knack for coming up clutch in key moments, scoring goals in the 2017 and 2020 Western Conference finals.
“I think Will is still one of the most accomplished back-to-goal, target players in the history of American soccer,” said General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “There aren’t many domestic guys that have scored at least 75 career goals. I think he’s in the top ten all time in the league for that.”
With Bruin back under contract, Seattle’s striker corps also includes Raúl Ruidíaz, who finished fourth in the league’s Golden Boot race, and a youngster in Sam Adeniran coming off a USL Championship in which he broke the Tacoma Defiance’s single season scoring record. That depth and versatility in playing styles will benefit the Sounders during a compressed 2022 season in which Seattle will be contending for trophies across four competitions.
“Between that group, it gives us a bunch of different looks,” said Lagerwey. “It gives us somebody who can play out wide and has pace in Adeniran. It gives us somebody who can hold the ball up and is really selfless, really good at knocking balls down and creating space in Will Bruin. We always want to give our coaching staff options, and hopefully with that group of players you have options.”
Bruin is coming off a 2021 season in which tallied three goals and four assists, including game-winning goals at the Columbus Crew and Sporting Kansas City and a man of the match performance in a 4-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps. Beyond the statistics, he played a pivotal role in the team’s successful transition to a back-three formation, as he started up top in a 3-5-2 when the Sounders began the campaign on a 13-match unbeaten run.
The Sounders will officially kick off the 2022 campaign on February 17 as they visit Honduran side F.C. Motagua in Leg One of the Concacaf Champions League before hosting Leg Two at Lumen Field on February 24.