GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Brian Ching has made no secret of the fact that his blood runs orange, but that isn´t going to stop him from giving his all to make MLS’ newest franchise work.
After playing the past six seasons with the Houston Dynamo, the 33-year-old forward became the transfer story of the winter when Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear left his captain exposed in November’s Expansion Draft and the Montreal Impact promptly snapped him up.
Ching had stated he would prefer to retire than play for Montreal, but the 2004 MLS Golden Boot winner is now entirely focused on helping the Canadian team get up and running in the MLS on the right foot.
“At this point, my focus is on helping this team gel quickly and instill a good, winning work ethic and intense practices,” Ching told MLSsoccer.com after his team’s 0-0 draw against Chivas de Guadalajara on Sunday. “A lot of it is trying to get guys on the same page to think the same way and be hard to play against.”
Emphasized Ching: “I’m 100 percent committed to that right now.”
Ching added that while it is difficult integrating with all the new players that have arrived at Montreal, the squad has been making some good progress so far this preseason in Mexico.
The Hawaii-born striker also declared himself pleased with Sunday’s performance against Chivas, the first test for Jesse Marsch’s side as the club prepares for its debut MLS game against the Vancouver Whitecaps on March 10.
“We’re all a little leggy from the altitude and working hard for the last few days, but I thought the guys did well,” Ching said. “I thought we came out and held our own against a team that has been in shape.”
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America. He can be reached via email@example.com.