Eleven years just wasn’t quite enough for Brian Ching, who has committed to another year for the Houston Dynamo.
Ching certainly sounded like a man ready to retire, hinting at it frequently as the Dynamo moved into last month’s MLS Cup. But today he told MLSSoccer.com he was ready for one more run, his 12th in Major League Soccer.
Statistically, the former U.S. international was as productive in 2012 as he was in 2011, actually matching a career high in assists (5) while matching his goal total from the previous season (also 5). While his minutes have been roughly the same over the last three years, how his time on the field is coming has certainly evolved; more of Ching’s appearances are off the bench now.
One telling element in Ching’s decision process could have been a lack of appearances in key playoff matches, as Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear sometimes preferred Cam Weaver in critical instances. Ching played just 36 minutes in the Dynamo’s six post-season contests, including 13 minutes in the final, that 3-1 loss to Los Angeles.
Still, he has chosen to return, and the 34-year-old forward does probably have something left to contribute, especially when it comes to ongoing tutelage of first-choice striker Will Bruin. What he told MLSSoccer.com:
I needed to step away for a bit and make sure that I still love it and have a passion for it. Looking back and seeing how the season went and how I held up, I still feel like I can contribute.”