Brian Ching’s return to starting line-up boosts Houston Dynamo’s confidence prior to MLS Cup final
Brian Ching has fought his way back from injuries to lead Houston Dynamo in the Major League Soccer Cup final on Sunday, November 20, at The Home Depot Center.
The player picked up a hamstring sprain in the semi-final against Sporting Kansas City at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park on Sunday, November 6. Prior to that, the striker had trouble with his Achilles’ heel but recovered well to register a win.
“He did his Achilles’ heel and hamstring and different things over the years, but he makes sure he’s ready on the day of the game,” Houston head man Dominic Kinnear said during a league conference call Monday. “His determination was impressive, and then when he got back on the field he didn’t miss much.”
Ching is one of the few stalwarts in the Dynamo roster who have played the last two MLS Cup finals – 2006 and 2007 – in the club’s 7-year MLS history. This time, though, he would be leading his team into the final.
Ching announced his retirement from active play prior to play-offs and is in search of a perfect closure to his professional career.
The Hawaiian player is one of the four Die Oranje players who have scored five goals apiece in the 2011 season. He scored a goal and notched an assist in the play-offs. He also helped the defence in keeping the opponents at bay and defending set-pieces.
“His leadership as a captain in the big games has shown up on both sides of the ball,” Kinnear said. “He’s not just a good player going forward but as the first line of defense. He’s one of the best players in the league.”
His comeback from injury prior to the final game sets an example for his teammates. It has boosted their confidence going into one of the toughest and most important games of the season.
The away game is undoubtedly Houston’s ultimate test on road this season. Ching’s presence in the front line will certainly help the club overcome the pressure at one of the roughest venues in the country.