Finally, after months of wrangling, shouting and accusations, Brian Ching is heading back to Houston. The Dynamo and the fans were elated to hear the news. Dominic Kinnear, the Dynamo head coach stated that he was “very happy to have Brian back with the team” and that “[t]his is a very important year for the Dynamo, and if anyone deserves to be involved with the team, it’s Brian.” The Dynamo wasted no time celebrating Ching’s return and displayed the good news on its website’s front page (see picture).
Montreal Impact, the newest MLS expansion team, claimed Ching as the first pick in the MLS Expansion Draft back in November 2011. Even before he was claimed by the Impact, Ching threatened that he would never play for the Impact, or any other team for that matter, but would instead retire. Despite these threats, Montreal Impact picked Ching stating that even though Ching “made it clear he does not want to come here” we claimed him, because “he represents good value.” The pick of Ching was also controversial because just about everybody — except perhaps for the Impact — assumed that no one would claim an aging player who was on the record that 2012 would be his last season in MLS and who wanted to finish his carrier in Houston. After all, Ching was an original Dynamo player and its all-time leading goal scorer and the “face of the franchise.” The Dynamo left Ching unprotected because its officials thought that Ching’s wishes would be respected by the expansion team.
Needlessly to say, the move by the Impact stunned Ching and Houston officials. Both reacted angrily. At one point, Chris Canetti, Dynamo’s President of Business Operations, was quoted as saying that “it’s hard for me to fathom that a team would take a player that doesn’t want to be there.” Even though Montreal’s move caused a major stir in the league and anger in Houston, the Impact’s move to claim Ching was, at the end, very rewarding. The deal between the warring clubs calls for Ching to go back to the Dynamo and the Impact gets a conditional first-round pick in the 2013 SuperDraft.
It was reported that Ching is going back to the Dynamo on a reduced salary, but with a promise that he will be retained by the Dynamo for a front office job at the club after he retires.