TUKWILA, Washington - After six strong seasons with the Houston Dynamo, Will Bruin was acquired in December 2016 by Seattle Sounders FC to provide veteran presence and share his experiences with the team's younger players.
That includes competing in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League twice with the Dynamo.
Bruin's experience helped in the Sounders' push to a second straight appearance in the MLS Cup final in December and will be a valuable tool as they prepare to face Salvadoran power Santa Tecla in the 2018 SCCL round of 16.
"The atmosphere is going to be a lot different the further you go, different styles of play for different countries," said the 28-year-old, who has one SCCL appearance in El Salvador -- coming off the substitute's bench in a 3-1 win at FAS on Aug. 22, 2012. "We have a team where we just worry about ourselves. Our play can take care of itself no matter who we're playing."
Bruin also knows how important it is for the Sounders to have the right mentality when they travel to meet host Santa Tecla in the first leg on February 22.
"You can't overlook [Santa Tecla] at all. They want to show they can compete with MLS and with Mexico and the bigger leagues in North America," he commented. "Every player could be thinking if I show out here, I get a chance to move on to the next part of their career. They're going to come out firing. It's a huge game for them and obviously it's a huge game for us as well. If we overlook it, we can find ourselves in a hole."
Seattle is 2W-1D-1L in four all-time SCCL openers, going winless on the road (0-1-1).