Houston Dynamo forward Brian Ching has been named the MLS Player of the Week for Week 1 of the 2006 MLS regular season. Ching stormed to the top of the voting with his powerful four-goal performance during Dynamo's 5-2 victory over the visiting Colorado Rapids on Sunday.
Playing in front of a large crowd in Houston for Dynamo's inaugural game, Ching introduced himself to the new fans with a hat trick in the first half and a fourth score midway through the second half. Ching put the slightest of touches on Wade Barrett's through ball into the box to get goal number one in the thirteenth minute before following it up with three powerful headers. The first two headers came off crosses by Dynamo right wing Brian Mullan in minutes 37 and 44. He added the exclamation point to his already amazing night by leaping to nod home a corner kick from Dwayne De Rosario in the 72nd minute.
Ching's four-goal game marks the ninth time in MLS history that a player has scored at least four goals in one game. Clint Mathis holds the record for most goals by one player in an MLS game with five -- a mark he set while playing for the MetroStars against Dallas in 2000. Prior to Ching's quartet on Sunday, the most recent four-goal performance was by Edson Buddle, in a Columbus Crew win against the MetroStars in 2004.
The Major League Soccer Player of the Week is selected every week throughout the MLS regular season by a panel of journalists from the Professional Soccer Reporters Association (PSRA).
2006 Player of the Week Winners
Week 1: Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo)