MLS Cup 2006 stands among the league’s most thrilling championship games, with Houston Dynamo FC beating the New England Revolution 4-3 in penalty kicks after goals were exchanged in stoppage time (1-1 draw).
That match also happens to be one of Brian Ching’s favorite memories in a Dynamo jersey, and not just because his 114th-minute goal canceled out Taylor Twellman’s strike moments earlier. He later scored the decisive penalty kick, earning MLS Cup MVP honors for his troubles.
“Obviously the first year was very special,” Ching shared on Tuesday's episode of The Call Up. “That first game, I’ve never scored four goals before or after in a match. That was one of my special moments, and then I think winning that MLS Cup in Dallas – it wasn’t really in Houston, but it kind of was because all the fans, they swarmed that stadium.”
The postgame celebrations remain vivid for Ching, who’s an undoubted Houston legend. The since-retired forward is their all-time goals scored leader (56), helped them win back-to-back MLS Cups (2006-07) and was a five-time MLS All-Star in their iconic orange.
“There was something kind of surreal about winning that game in front of our fans and then for some reason, there are certain things that you remember,” Ching shared. “I just remember the sky being orange as the sun was going down, it was this awesome orange-y color and we’re celebrating with our fans, the stands are all orange. It was this picturesque kind of moment.”
Ching said that’s one of two “super special” moments he’ll always remember from a career that spanned 82 goals and 34 assists across 233 regular-season games, including stops at the LA Galaxy and San Jose. On the international stage, Ching scored 11 goals in 45 games for the US men’s national team.
But giving Houston a trophy and the deeper meaning it coincided with, that’s ever-lasting.
“That came in after such a trying year, moving, all the things that we had to overcome to get to that moment,” Ching said. “Then to be able to come back and win it was really special.”
For more from Ching, check out the entire episode of The Call Up here.