As Dynamo captain Brian Ching prepares for his 10th season in Major League Soccer, questions will invariably arise about how much the Hawaiian forward has left in the tank. In fact, they already have.
Last week, in an interview with MyFox 26's Mark Berman, Ching stated that 2011 could be his last season playing professional soccer and that he would evaluate himself during the season to decide if it would be his last. However, at the start of preseason training camp yesterday, Ching realized he may have spoken about retirement a bit too soon.
“I think last year was a tough year,” Ching said. “Mentally it was tough, and I thought at the end of this year it might be my last year. But having thought about that and coming in today, I will probably make that decision more at the end of the season.”
Last season was a trying one for the veteran forward. Injuries and national team call-ups - but, frustratingly, not a World Cup roster spot - limited Ching to only 20 games played. His seven regular-season goals were the fewest he scored since his 2007 campaign, another season in which he was limited due to injuries and national team duty. But all seven goals came in a 14-game span May 29-Sept. 18, including a memorable hat trick against Chicago that included the ESPNSoccernet.com Goal of the Year, showing Ching can still be a scoring force in MLS.
While many of the players with whom Ching played much of his career have departed the Dynamo, Ching is not yet ready to leave the game and looks forward to the day he can play in the Dynamo’s new stadium.
“I feel good, and I still feel like I have a couple of years left,” he said. “I would definitely like to be a part of the new stadium. It’s disappointing that some of the guys that helped build this club into what it is won’t be around, because I think they deserved it. From a professional standpoint, though, I would like to be able to play in my own place one or two years before I retire.”