At one point during the past year Dynamo striker Brian Ching had indicated he wanted to retire after the current season. During an interview I did with him on Soccer Matters radio it was clear Ching had an eye on returning this year.
It is tough to imagine a Dynamo squad without the 34 year old Ching who has provided the Dynamo with some of their most indelible moments and comes off a 5g 5a season.
Ching played in 30 games this year with about half in a role off the bench which will be the role he will play in the future if he is resigned.
Still with Concacaf and league games Ching can still play a role of importance.
“Right now , I’m leaning toward coming back,” said Ching to the Houston Chronicle. “I feel like last year went well. I wasn’t injured, and I felt I was contributing to the team.
” As we move forward I want to be a part of the team as long as I can contribute to help the team win,” says Ching.
His role as a reserve last year helped to limit the duress on his body and helped with his recoverability. Still many a star player has fought having his role and level of importance changed on a team but from the outside Ching has accepted this role and performed it well.
The “off the bench” role for the Dynamo helped to put Ching in a position to succeed against fatigued defenders late in matches. Why take the physical pounding during the first 70 minutes of a match? In fact it plays a part in his decision to play another season.
Last year for Ching it became more about quality than quantity.
He often came in off the bench and helped to change games during the season and provide an emotional lift.
His soccer intelligence, hold up play (still best on team), aerial threat, passing skills and presence can still bring value despite the decline of physical skills which happens to all athlete’s at some point.
By bringing him in during later stages you diminish the physical challenge and accent his obvious skills.
Ching has from the outside accepted this role and it’s importance which is a key.
Sure Will Bruin is the target striker of the future but their is still much for Bruin to learn observing Ching over the course of another season both during matches and training.
His locker room leadership and experience is also a huge value.
In a day and age where loyalty in professional sports is at an all time low I for one would love to see Ching back factoring in all of the above.
Contract negotiations clearly will be important in the Ching re-signing and his agent has indicated that Ching intends to play in 2013.
Dynamo president Chris Canetti and coach Dominic Kinnear have also indicated they would like Ching back.
“If he wants to come back, we’re happy to have him,” said Canetti to the Houston Chronicle.
It will be interesting to see how fans react especially after the emotion that occurred when Ching was initially lost in the expansion draft to Montreal last year.
With the addition of Omar Cummings from Colorado the Dynamo get more mobility and pace up front which is especially needed in the wake of an ACL injury to Calen Carr.