In anticipation of Brian Ching’s retirement at the conclusion of the 2013 season, HoustonDynamo.com will count down the Top 10 Brian Ching Moments each week leading up to the Brian Ching Testimonial Match, presented by BBVA Compass. This week: the 2010 MLS All-Star Game.
“I don't think that people really expected that Houston, Texas would be a strong, powerful and successful MLS market. It's turned out to be one of our best.”
These were the words of MLS commissioner Don Garber in 2009 as he announced that Houston would host the 2010 MLS All-Star Game. At the root of why MLS did take hold so quickly—2010 would be just the fourth season in the club’s existence—was an extraordinary cast of characters committed to winning and making Houston their home. The central figure from day one: Brian Ching.
So it was fitting that before a sellout crowd of 70,728 fans in Reliant Stadium—the second-largest crowd ever for an MLS All-Star Game—and against one of the world’s biggest clubs in Manchester United, Ching was there to take center stage.
After coming on as a halftime sub, Ching, wearing his familiar No. 25, set up in the box for an MLS free kick in the 63rd minute of the match. FC Dallas’ David Ferreira whipped in the kick from the left flank and Ching darted toward the near post. Beating United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar to the cross, the Dynamo forward headed it into the back of the net for the All-Stars’ first goal.
“To score a goal against probably one of the best teams in the world is something I will always remember, especially doing it here in front of our home crowd,” Ching said following the match. “It was fantastic.”
As the match wound to a close, Ching again was involved in the fireworks, this time providing for an old friend. Finding himself open in the final third in the 90th minute, Ching chipped a pass to former Dynamo teammate Dwayne De Rosario, who latched onto it and slotted it home for MLS’ only other goal in a 5-2 win for Manchester United.
“It’s one of my favorite memories because soccer fans from all over Houston came out and were treated to a great show, 5-2 and seven goals,” Ching told HoustonDynamo.com recently. “It was kind of special in the sense that Houston fans got to see two of their own put them in the back of the net against one of the best teams in the world.”
There, with the bright lights and a home audience, Brian Ching punctuated the work that he and his teammates had put in since arriving in Texas only a few years prior. The Dynamo, MLS and soccer were firmly ingrained in the Bayou City, and Ching was at the heart of it all.