The Houston Dynamo and Dynamo Charities announced today that the club will host a Brian Ching Testimonial Match, presented by BBVA Compass, to celebrate the career of the retiring forward.
The match will be held Friday, Dec. 13 at BBVA Compass Stadium. Proceeds from the match will benefit Ching’s charitable initiative, The House That Ching Built, which benefits Habitat for Humanity and aims to construct a new home for a family in the Houston community.
“I’ve been blessed to be able to partner with Houston Habitat,” said Ching. “It’s been fantastic to see how much this project has changed the lives of the first two families that benefitted from The House That Ching Built. As I celebrate the end of my playing career, I once again have an opportunity to make a positive impact on a third family.”
The match brings the global tradition of celebrating retiring players to Houston and marks the first testimonial match in Major League Soccer history. The match will honor Ching’s career as he retires from professional soccer at the end of the 2013 season and will feature some of the biggest stars from the Dynamo, MLS and the U.S. Men’s National Team (SEE FULL LIST OF PARTICIPANTS HERE). As an original member of the 2006 Houston Dynamo, and an active member of the Houston community, Ching’s testimonial match will serve as a fitting tribute to his achievements.
“I’ve gotten positive feedback from everyone I’ve asked to participate,” continued Ching. “It’s wonderful to have fellow players who are willing to support and be there for me during my last game on the field.”
Ching moved to Houston with the club ahead of the 2006 season. He scored four goals in the Dynamo’s first game on April 2, 2006, and immediately became a fan favorite. During his eight seasons in Houston, Ching has scored the most goals in team history (69) and also led the Dynamo to back-to-back championships in 2006 and 2007. A three-time MLS Cup winner, Ching amassed some of the following accolades throughout his career: 45 appearances for the U.S. national team, six MLS All-Star selections, 2004 MLS Golden Boot Winner, 2006 MLS Cup MVP and the 2004 MLS Comeback Player of the Year. Ching is currently tied for 11th on the MLS all-time scoring list with 82 career regular-season goals.
“On the field his contributions have been great; off of the field his contributions have been even better,” stated Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “Because he’s not just happy being a professional athlete, I think he wants to be part of the community. As always, he’s doing something not for the sport, but for the city of Houston. He’s a wonderful person. The highest compliment I could give him is that I wish I could have been his teammate along the way.”
“Brian Ching is a living legend to U.S. soccer fans and an icon to Houston sports fans,” said Dynamo President Chris Canetti. “He has been a leader both on and off the field, exemplifying the heart of a champion and of a humanitarian. We are thankful for his contributions and look forward to hosting this special testimonial match to honor his playing career.”
Tickets for the Brian Ching Testimonial Match start at $25 and will go on sale to the general public on Friday, Sept. 27, at 10 a.m. Tickets will be available at HoustonDynamo.com, or by visiting the BBVA Compass Stadium ticket office (2200 Texas St., Houston). 2013 Dynamo season ticket-holders may purchase tickets beginning today and ending on Friday during an exclusive pre-sale opportunity.
“Brian embodies the best of soccer — its broad appeal and team spirit,” said Mark Montgomery, Houston city president for BBVA Compass. “We look forward to helping honor such a dynamic player.”