The Houston Dynamo have re-signed forward Brian Ching to a new contract, it was announced today. Under his new deal, Ching will return to the club for his final season under the title of player/assistant coach. Aside from his playing duties, Ching will also assume some assistant coaching responsibilities alongside the current technical staff. Per League and team policy, the terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Ching, an original Dynamo player and the club’s all-time leading goal scorer, returns in time to play the 2013 season among the leaders of several franchise records, including games played (third, 205), games started (fifth, 160), and assists (third, 29). His club record 69 goals are more than twice the amount of the second player on the all-time list (Dwayne De Rosario, 32 goals).
“We are happy to keep Brian on the team,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “Throughout his career, Brian has been a key part of who we are. He has also been an important player on the field and in the locker room.”
In 2012, Ching played in a career-high 30 games (13 starts) after being limited to 20 appearances in 2011 due to injury. He finished the 2012 season with five goals and five assists.
“(Houston) is where I always wanted to be,” said Ching. “I was completely optimistic that we would get this deal done. I wanted to come back and play again, so I’m looking forward to continuing the same role I finished the season with last year and hopefully making a difference on the field.”
The perennial MLS All-Star forward led or tied for the team lead in goals in five consecutive seasons (2007-2011) and set a franchise and personal record with 13 goals in 2008. Ching has tallied ten or more goals in two other seasons, recording 11 in 2006 and 12 in 2004.
“It’s nice to formally wrap up Brian’s contract for 2013,” said Dynamo president Chris Canetti. “Having him here was never in question; it just took some time to iron out the details. He is an integral part of our club today and will be into the future.”
Ching, a native of Haleiwa, Hawai’i, became the face of the Dynamo franchise by scoring four goals in Houston’s inaugural game in 2006. He capped the season by winning MLS Cup MVP after scoring the tying goal and converting the winning penalty kick in a shootout win over New England.