Houston Dynamo striker Brian Ching officially announced his intentions to retire at the end of the 2013 season in a press conference at BBVA Compass Stadium on Tuesday, signaling the close of a long, fruitful career with the Dynamo (and their previous incarnation as the San Jose Earthquakes) as well as the US national team.
Citing the increasing pain and soreness from the physical grind of his 12th MLS season, and 13th pro season overall, Ching will hang up his cleats at season's end and take up a front-office position with the club he helped build since its relocation to Houston ahead of the 2006 season.
With 56 regular-season goals for the Orange, Ching is the Dynamo's all-time leading scorer and his 82 career goals place him in a tie for 11th on the all-time MLS scoring chart.
The muscular target forward won the MLS Golden Boot and the MLS Comeback Player of the Year awards in 2004 as a member of the original San Jose Earthquakes.
Ching's man-of-the-match performance in the 2006 MLS Cup brought the relocated club its first of two championship trophies and made him the face of a team that quickly charmed its new city. He remains an active member of the community and partnered with Habitat for Humanity to create his own charity organization, "The House that Ching Built."
The team will host a testimonial for Ching on Friday, Dec. 13.
“I’ve been blessed to be able to partner with Houston Habitat,” said Ching in a press release. “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.”
A native of Haileiwa, Hawaii, Ching earned his first MLS opportunity with the LA Galaxy after a standout college career at Gonzaga University, and honed his skills during a stint with the Seattle Sounders during their A-League days.
He was an important member of the US national team from 2004-2010, earning a spot on the 2006 World Cup squad and a central role in qualification for the 2010 World Cup. He finished his international career with 45 caps and 11 goals.