MLS- Montreal Impact

Ching all business as Montreal faces Houston in pre-season

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CARSON, Calif. — For months, people have awaited Brian Ching's first match against the Houston Dynamo.

After being left unprotected by Houston in the expansion draft, Ching threatened retirement before eventually being selected by the Montreal Impact. The fallout set the stage for potential tension in Ching's first match against his former club. 

Instead of cause a fuss, Ching maintained his professionalism as he started for the Impact on Tuesday, going 45 minutes as the expansion side fell 2-0 to the Dynamo at the Home Depot Center. After his first match against his old club, Ching could not help but admit feeling at peace with with being a member of the Impact.

"It’s definitely growing on me," Ching said. "Obviously, it was a very emotional time for me when it all happened, but like I said, I’ve been with the team for about a month now and I enjoy playing with the guys and I enjoy the project of trying to build a competitive team here. It’s still a work in progress."

Since joining Montreal in late January, Ching has quickly taken a leadership role on a young Impact side that is still developing ahead of its first MLS season. After spending nearly a month with his new club, Ching feels that the hard feelings have finally subsided. 

"No, [the game against the Dynamo] was not emotional," said Ching. "In terms of me being emotional, I’ve had a long time to get over that and I’m over it and ready for us to play some more preseason games."

While the match seemed routine for Ching, the game was strange for Houston defender Bobby Boswell, who was Ching's teammate with the Dynamo for four years. Boswell and fellow central defender Geoff Cameron were tasked with defending Ching during the scrimmage. 

Among the most fierecely competitive players in the league, the pair of defenders have remained close with their new adversary since Ching departed for Montreal in November. In his first match with his long-time teammate on the other side of the field, Boswell couldn't help but send his own personal message to Ching. 

"I’ve obviously rather be playing with him, but today was the day that we were going against each other so we had to move on from there," said Boswell. "I told him before the game to 'make sure to wear shin guards,' and he said, 'Are you sure I don't need a helmet?'

"It’s not one of my proudest moments, but I think the month before I got traded to Houston [from D.C. United in 2007], I did headbutt him in a game, and he won’t tell you that he tried to break my ribs on a corner kick, but that’s just how it is."

As both players sorted out their feelings about the former Dynamo talisman's first match against his old team, one question still loomed over the match: Are discussions still on-going to bring Ching back to Houston?

After being candid about trade negotiations with the Impact after Ching was selected by Montreal, Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear is doing his best to stay tight-lipped. 

"I can’t talk about that," Kinnear said. "He’s Montreal’s player and anything that we do, we try to have respect for the other team and player. We have to keep that under wraps and that’s all that I can say. I think that at the beginning, we were a little bit liberal with what we were saying, and I think that was a bit rude so I apologize for that.

"I think it was too easily talked about because of who he is, and now to be professional, we have to keep it as quiet as possible."

  • Devin Brown

    Ching is a true professional. I regret that he is not in orange, but I have no doubt he will continue to carry himself as a leader on and off the field in Montreal.


  • CJ

    I’m more curious about how Ching is getting on with Jesse Marsch. Weren’t they mortal enemies? I thought when Marsch picked Ching it was like the ultimate insult, as odd as that sounds. I guess they’ve made peace with each other.


  • smokeminside

    My question, too. It did seem like an insult to pick him. Marsch: Not only am I going to have a hand in keeping you off the world cup team, I’m also going to screw over your desire to finish your playing career in Houston.” Or something like that.


  • Edwin in LA

    This would of never been an issue had Houston protected him, more important…

    Why IN THE HELL did they give Ching such a long extension and a big salary like that when it was evident that he was declining and to give him big money the last 2 years of his contract was beyond dumb. 2010 I can understand under the record he had in previous years but with the injuries he had in 09 he should of only made 250-300K in 2011 and less than that in 2012 maybe 175-200K

    It just makes too much sense, he can’t stay healthy and can’t get past 5 or 6 goals.

    I do think he could help someone like Justin Braun learn the little things about being a great MLS goal scorer and Target forward, even tho Braun seems to have more athleticism and work rate than Ching even in his prime…
    Really think Braun can be better but he tends to be streaky and only scores in spurs… maybe he can break double digits this year and be among the top scorers….


  • Mr. Maxican

    Preface: a majority of Houston’s 2.1 million people are bandwagon fans. So while our avg attendance was 17k, Dynamo will still be looking the extra 5k to sell out the stadium.

    Ching was the face of the Dynamo, a somewhat easy marketing tool. Non-soccer fans knew who he was, or at least heard the name Ching so much that it is associated with the Dynamo, soccer and two championships.

    With the new stadium up, plastering the city with a former USMNT player and MLS champion would bring in non soccer fans to experience the new venue and watch quality soccer in Houston.

    Even at 33 Ching holds and moves the ball well. All he has to do is hold his own against defenders and wait for Brad Davis to feed him the ball on a set piece.


  • bobby

    Wow. What a pro.

    He waited AFTER the game to leave the team to go back to Houston and push a trade thru.

    What a hero.


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