Houston Dynamo rookie Thor Uhlfarrson's game winning goal on Saturday night leaves him just one away from tying the franchise rookie scoring record. Former Dynamo scorer Will Bruin scored five in his rookie season. How does Uhlfarrson stack up?
In 2011, the Houston Dynamo selected Will Bruin eleventh overall in the MLS draft. The former Indiana University scorer set Houston's franchise rookie scoring record with five goals before setting the league on fire in his 2012 breakout campaign. Bruin, a starter from game one of the 2011season, scored four goals in his first five matches including a hat trick against DC United earning him his "Dancing Bear" nickname. He would only score once more the rest of the season. Bruin appeared in 25 games with 22 starts.
Uhlfarrson's fourth goal of his rookie campaign came Sunday night in San Jose in his 21st appearance ( 8 starts). it was his second goal in three games and his third in his last six appearances with five starts. He also has one assist over that span.
Maybe what makes Uhlfarrson stand out is the timeliness of his goals. Following his first goal that capped a 3-0 road win in Los Angeles against the Galaxy, each of the 21 year old's goals since have meant something. Against the Chicago Fire on June 25th, Uhlfarrson scored what proved to be the game winner in the 23rd minute. He then entered as a sub in the Texas Derby rematch on July 9th and found the first equalizer in a 2-2 draw with FC Dallas just 14 minutes after stepping on the pitch. Next came Saturday night against San Jose, his ability to finish on display once more as he found the game winner in the 76th minute. Each marker proved to be a positive result for his Houston club.
Uhlfarrson's efficiency is another statistic that stands out. Of his 29 shots, 14 have been on frame and four have rippled the net. That equates to nearly one out of every two shots are at the net and 29% find their way past the keeper.
The native Icelander reminds this writer of former Italian star and former New York Cosmos striker Giorgio Chinaglia. In seven seasons with the Cosmos, he scored 193 goals in 213 appearances. Most of his goals came from inside the nine yard spot. He knew how to finish and so does Uhlfarrson.
Thor Uhlfarrson, at the age of six, who told his grandma he would be a professional soccer player is well on his way to doing more than that. It's just a matter of time before he puts his name at the top of the Houston Dynamo scoring records and maybe Major League Soccer. The MLS rookie scoring record is 17 set by Cyle Larin in 2015.
Scoring aside, Uhlfarrson is faster then Bruin's. His ability to move without the ball is better and he can facilitate as well. For as good as Bruin was, Uhlfarrson is better.