Sounders striker Will Bruin quits dancing, but not scoring

There’s little doubt about his lifelong knack for finding the back of the net, as he did late in stoppage time at Montreal three weeks ago to stave off certain Sounders defeat.

Will Bruin has been called a lot of things on the soccer pitch but what he truly winces at is his actual nickname.

For six seasons with the Houston Dynamo, the high-scoring striker with the tall and stocky build was known as “The Dancing Bear’’ because of his celebrating during one game his rookie campaign. Bruin notched a hat trick against D.C. United and after each goal did a celebratory jig likened to a bear waving its paws.

“The day before the game we were doing a finishing drill,’’ said Bruin, a strapping 6-foot-2, 194-pounder who could start Friday night for the Sounders against Atlanta so Jordan Morris can rest his sore ankle. “Our coach was chipping it to the top of the box and you chest it down and you finish. I was chesting the ball and my hands were flailing and they (his teammates) were all like, ‘You look like a dancing bear.’

“The next day in the locker room (Dynamo scoring legend) Brian Ching was like, ‘If you score you’ve got to do ‘The Dancing Bear celebration.’ I had no idea what it was or what it consisted of, it just kind of happened.’’

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Not once, or twice, but three times. A legend was born, one the soft-spoken Bruin, acquired by the Sounders in a December trade for allocation money, wishes had never been let out of its cage.

“The way it looked, I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll probably retire that one,’ ’’ he said.

But Dynamo fans wouldn’t. They clamored for a repeat whenever Bruin scored. He never obliged, despite plenty of opportunity: scoring five goals his rookie season, 12 in 2012, eight in 2013, 10 in 2014 and 11 more in 2015.

Bruin was on his way to eclipsing Ching’s franchise mark when he slumped last season and added…

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