Plans for the final act of Brian Ching’s career were thrown into upheaval Wednesday when he was taken by the Montreal Impact in the 2011 Expansion Draft on Wednesday afternoon.
Ching now finds himself a member of the expansion Impact and facing a tough choice: Move to Canada, retire or hold out hope that the Dynamo can reach a deal to bring him back to Houston.
“It’s unfortunate that he’s the one who has to pay the price for decisions that were made by the organizations,” Ching’s agent Richard Motzkin told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday night. “It’s not a good situation for anyone right now.”
Houston chose to take a calculated risk by exposing Ching to the draft. His hefty salary, age and insistence that he would retire rather than relocate was expected to ward off advances from the Impact.
“I’m very surprised he was selected and very sad,” Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear told the Houston Chronicle. “This was a chance we took in leaving him unprotected, and obviously, our gamble didn’t pay off.”
While Houston took the gamble, there are questions surrounding why the Impact would chose to ignore a player’s wishes. The conventional wisdom is that they are trying to improve their position and roster and will look to gain a protected player, allocation money or draft picks from Houston.
“[Ching] has made it clear he doesn’t want to be here, but we value him,” Impact head coach Jesse Marsch told the media on Wednesday. “I think there are teams in the league that value him. He’s a valuable guy. I want to still include what’s best for Brian in his future, but I also have to include what’s best for our club.”
Despite his explanation, the decision has raised more eyebrows than not.
“Some people will say they’re trying to maximize their opportunities, and some will look at it and say that’s not the right thing to do,” Motzkin said. “Reasonable people can have different opinions on that.”
According to Motzkin, there is no timetable for a decision and he does not expect much movement during the holiday weekend.
So, for now, Ching and everyone involved will have to wait while the next move in the now former Dynamo forward’s career hangs in limbo.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.