CARSON, Calif. – Saturday’s MLS Cup between the LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo will certainly be the final MLS game for Galaxy midfielder David Beckham, but it may also be the final match for Dynamo forward Brian Ching.
The Houston Chronicle’s Jesus Ortiz spoke to the player
affectionately known as “Mr. Houston” among his teammates about the possibility hanging up his iconic number 25 shirt for good. Although Ching is adamant that any decision on his future would come a month into the offseason, there possibility lingers that Houston may enter the 2013 without their long-time captain.
Considered the face of the Dynamo franchise, Ching joined the San Jose Earthquakes in 2003 and followed the franchise when they moved to Houston in 2006. When the club completed the move to Texas, Ching quickly became one of the club’s leaders on and off the field, tallying 43 goals in regular season and postseason play for the Dynamo.
During his 12-year professional career, which began with the forward being drafted by the Galaxy in 2001, Ching became a staple on the U.S. National Team for nearly a decade. The Hawaiian native was named to the U.S.' squad for the 2006 World Cup, amassing 45 appearances for USMNT while notching 11 international goals.
Now at age 34, the player who made a name for himself as a physical forward has seen persistent injuries limit him to a substitute's role for much of the 2012 season.
If Saturday is Ching’s final match, the forward’s former national team head coach and current Galaxy boss Bruce Arena admits that Ching deserves to called one of the league’s greats.
“Brian is a great player,” Arena said of Ching. “He’s been a fixture on our all-star teams; he’s had a very good presence on the national team program.“
"He’s a terrific guy off the field, not on the field,” Arena added with a smirk. “He’s a great competitor on the field, so it’s nice to see that he had the opportunity to finish his career in Houston if he does finish it this year or next year, but Brian has been a great player in MLS and made great contributions to the national team program as well.”