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. No. 2: Ching delivers a performance for the ages in the Dynamo's opening game.
The existence of the Houston Dynamo has been relatively short, but a lack of longevity should not be confused for a lack of history. In fact, the first club legend was introduced to the city at the club’s first ever game on April 2, 2006.
The game was won 5-2 against the Colorado Rapids, but looking back those details seem incidental to the two biggest numbers from that day: 25 and four.
The former being the number of Brian Ching, the latter being the number of goals he scored to introduce himself.
“Opening day was special, I think in the fact that we didn’t know what to expect when we came here,” Ching told HoustonDynamo.com. “The city of Houston came out and welcomed us with open arms and made us feel and loved right from the beginning.
“When we were walking out and the stadium was filling up, you saw everyone buying into the orange already and our supporters group being loud from the get-go really gave us a lot of energy.”
Ching opened the scoring in the 13th minute by sliding to get a toe on a Dwayne De Rosario through ball, catching just enough of it to redirect it past the goalkeeper. The celebration: kissing the team name on the front of his jersey, the beginning of a self-described “love affair” with the fans and the city.
The second came in the 37th minute on a Dynamo counter attack led by De Rosario, who played a ball wide to Brian Mullan on the right side. Mullan delivered a perfect cross to Ching’s head. The big Hawaiian followed the ball into the goal and into the back of the net.
He got the hat trick seven minutes after, just before halftime. Again coming from a Mullan cross on the right flank, Ching netted a powerful header that left Colorado with no chance.
Number four, which took the performance from great to transcendent, put the Dynamo up by two goals. He produced yet another blistering header, this time from a De Rosario corner kick.
“To get four goals, obviously it’s something I’d never done before and have never done after,” Ching said. "It was just one of those things where everything seemed to be going right, not only for me but for the team.”
You only get one chance at a first impression, and Ching made the absolute most of his. That game and performance was the seminal moment of Ching becoming the face of the franchise and of soccer in Houston.
“I think it’s pretty neat on a personal level to be remembered that way, to be remembered as a guy that helped kick off soccer again in Houston,” Ching said. “For me personally, I couldn’t have scripted it any better to start off with my love affair with the city.”