Will Bruin understands it’s not like the past. He doesn’t have a set starting role with the Seattle Sounders. His chances of playing long stretches likely come because others are injured or may need rest.
“I always want to play whenever I can and [coach Brian Schmetzer] wants to put out a squad that’s going to get three points,” Bruin said. “I understand that. It’s a business and my job is to when I get opportunities, score. I was glad I could do that.”
Bruin scored twice and Cristian Roldan’s first goal of the season proved to be the difference as Seattle remained unbeaten through six games and continued putting to rest the narrative of the past two seasons when terrible starts forced the Sounders to spend most of the season trying to rally from behind.
Seattle (5-0-1) is off to its best start in franchise history and set the stage for an important upcoming stretch with two games in seven days against Los Angeles FC.
WATCH | Roldan scores winner as Sounders stay undefeated:
Since July 4 of last season, Seattle is 20-2-3 in its past 25 regular season matches, taking 63 of a possible 75 points. They were the hottest team at the end of last season and one of the hottest to begin this year.
“It’s definitely carry over. We have a lot of the same pieces that went on that great run and just having that confidence we have of knowing we’re one of the best teams in the league,” Bruin said.
Bruin and Roldan scored two minutes apart midway through the second half as Seattle held off Toronto despite two goals from Jozy Altidore. Toronto was the only unbeaten team in the Eastern Conference entering the weekend, but couldn’t get a late equalizer in the only regular-season matchup between the MLS Cup finalist from 2016 and 2017.
“Our issue is we’ve got to not allow goals. We have to make sure that we can deal with things, stay in our shape and not chase things all over the field,” Toronto coach Greg Vanney said.
Altidore having bounce-back season
Altidore continued his resurgence from a disappointing season a year ago scoring a pair of goals for Toronto. Altidore’s header in the 11th minute gave Toronto a 1-0 lead, and his right-footed flick past Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei in the 70th minute pulled Toronto to 3-2.
Altidore has five goals in four games after scoring seven times in 13 MLS matches all of last season. Both of Altidore’s goals came off assists from Alejandro Pozuelo, who has four assists in three games since joining Toronto from Genk in Belgium.
Pozuelo nearly pulled Toronto even in second-half stoppage time but his curling shot was pushed wide by Frei.
“It’s frustrating because you get out on top and it’s a game you don’t want to give up goals the way we gave up goals,” Vanney said.