Sometimes, when a club is struggling, it needs a veteran to lift it onto his shoulders, if just for one night.
On Saturday night at Robertson Stadium, Brian Ching did just that, willing the Houston Dynamo to their first win in almost three months by holding off a resilient Chicago Fire, 4-3.
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“It was a good performance,” Ching said. “It got a little scary there when they equalized 3-3, but we stuck to it, we battled, and we grinded one out today.”
Houston's captain got his first hat trick in a Dynamo uniform since scoring four goals in the team’s first-ever game against the Colorado Rapids.
“He was awesome,” midfielder Lovel Palmer said. “To see Brian lead the team like that, you couldn’t ask for a better captain to play for — or even to play with.”
For most of the game, the Dynamo looked comfortable, as they had a two-goal lead on two separate occasions. However, the defense struggled to hold the cushion as the Fire started throwing their entire team into the attack late.
“I don’t think defensively we’re proud of the performance,” goalkeeper Pat Onstad said. “It’s funny — when you get in a habit of losing, it is a hard habit to break, and sometimes it takes an ugly win like this to break the habit.”
Earlier in the week, the Dynamo captain said he had had enough with the talk. After seeing his team give up a tying goal in the 81st minute, Ching didn’t mope or seemed frustrated. The captain just dug back in and scored the game winner in the 85th minute.
“Brian Ching was fantastic tonight; thank God for Brian Ching,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “He has always been a quiet leader. He leads by example. His bicycle kick stands out, but the fourth goal was the most important — and for me, that's the way he scores the majority of goals, so for him to do it with teams keying on him shows what a presence he is in the box for us.”
Houston earned its first victory against an MLS opponent since May 22. A win that the team captain and hero for the night hopes will be the start of something good.
“Sometimes you've just got to find a way when things aren’t going your way,” said Ching. “You just keep fighting. I definitely feel we’re better than our record, but you always have to go out there and prove it. When the season is not going your way and you grind out a result like that, it does wonders for your psyche. Hopefully we can take a lot of confidence from this moving forward.”
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.