HOUSTON – Brian Ching may once again don an orange uniform, after all, Houston Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear revealed Tuesday.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see him play next year,” the Dynamo boss, who met with Ching Monday as part of the player exit interview process, said in a press conference.
“I think the year was not so taxing on his body as maybe the previous years,” Kinnear continued. “I think he feels fresh enough that if he wants to play it’s not going to kill his body like years previous.”
It was widely believed that 2012 would be the former US international’s last campaign. However, after enjoying a strong late-season push as a reserve, he told MLSsoccer.com in November that he was contemplating coming back.
After Saturday’s final, Ching told MLSsoccer.com that he had not thought about the decision and that he would take some time to make the call. With a clause in his contract that says his option does not have to be decided until after the New Year, he has the time to contemplate his next move.
From Tuesday’s remarks, it is clear that if the franchise icon wants to return he has a home waiting for him.
“It’s his decision, that’s how we look at it,” Dynamo president Chris Canetti, who said there would be no salary cap issues if he did return, remarked. “If he wants to play he’s welcome back.”
MRI for Carr
When asked about Calen Carr’s status, Kinnear said there was no update and that the forward had an MRI to determine the extent of the damage. Carr scored the opening goal for Houston before exiting Saturday’s final with a left knee injury.
“Anytime you hear a player wants to go for an MRI something’s wrong,” Kinnear said. “I think his performance in the playoffs showed how valuable he was for us.”
Carr notched two assists and added a goal in Saturday’s final during Houston’s playoff run, making his case for the spot next to forward Will Bruin.
“Fingers crossed, you hope this is something he doesn’t have to deal with,” Kinnear continued. “If it is, the one thing you can take comfort in is that he has battled injuries in the past and that he has a coach that’s 100 percent behind him and will give him as much time as possible to get him back on the field.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.