Monday Morning Centre Back: The Dancing Bear Strikes Back

HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 17: Will Bruin #12, left, of the Houston Dynamo, does his dancing bear routine with Brad Davis #11 after scoring in the 79th minute against the San Jose Earthquakes at Robertson Stadium on September 17, 2011 in Houston, Texas. Houston won 2-1. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

The Dynamo got what they desperately needed on Saturday night against the San Jose Earthquakes...three points.

It wasn't a foregone conclusion until late and after a first half that saw the Dynamo dominate possession and still trail going in to the locker room, the team's playoff hopes were all but flat lined. Fortunately, you have play the full 90 minutes.

With the scored tied 1-1 late in the game, Luiz Camargo found Will Bruin executing a near perfect run inside of San Jose defender Steven Beitashour. The Dancing Bear headed the ball past a helpless Jon Busch and scored his first goal since his hat trick way back in April against DC United.

"It was definitely a confidence-booster, getting back on the scoresheet," Bruin said. "It's been a while, since April, so it was a confidence-booster and a great time to do it with the late [playoff] push."

Goalkeeper Tally Hall was happy with the result and Bruin's dancing as well.

"I don't think, until this year when I met Will, I've ever been excited to see a guy dance like a bear," Hall said. "Every time I see it I'm pretty happy. He's one of those guys that's always trying to get more information and make smarter runs and be a better teammate. He's put in the work every single day, and today it paid off."

Any other result than a win would have been cruel for the Dynamo who controlled the match all night as the Quakes attempted absorb pressure and strike on the counter. The plan worked for San Jose late in the first half when Khari Stephenson beat Hall on well timed counter that caught the Dynamo defense too far forward.

Calen Carr started for the first time since joining the Dynamo and recovering from a concussion. Carr played 73 minutes and was a workhorse up front for Houston constantly moving and probing the Quakes defense. While he didn't score on the night, his work rate help wear down San Jose and was a big factor in Bruin being able to beat a tiring Beitashour for the game winner.

 

All in all a good night for Houston not only with their result but with other results around the league. Losses by DC, Colorado, Kansas City and Columbus all help the Dynamo's playoff positioning, but the work is far from done. The three teams chasing Houston for a playoff spot all have at least two games in hand on the Dynamo (DC: 4, Portland: 2, NYRB: 2) so maximum points in their final four matches of the season has to be the target. 

The march to the playoffs continues next Saturday with a trip up I-45 to face the struggling FC Frisco. It's the second meeting between the teams in 2011, with the first being a 2-2 draw at Robertson on May 28th. A win would move Houston closer to securing a playoff birth and return El Capitan south for the first time since 2009 (baring a meeting in the playoffs).

The Dynamo haven't defeated FC Frisco since a 3-1 win at Pizza Hut Park on June 13th, 2009. I'm sure everyone agrees it's time to turn things around against our distant neighbors from Southern Oklahoma.

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