The Montreal Impact announced on Monday via Twitter that forward Brian Ching has asked for a few days’ leave of absence from the club’s training camp in Southern California for “personal reasons.”
The club declined to address the situation further.
A potential trade sending Ching back to his former club, the Houston Dynamo, has been rumored ever since the Impact selected him in the first round of the last MLS Expansion Draft in November. He initially threatened to retire if Montreal selected him, but he ended up being a part of the Impact’s first-ever training session as an MLS team.
Impact head coach Jesse Marsch so far has been full of praise for Ching’s attitude, emphasizing that the veteran is a consummate professional who will help build the team. Ching has also seemed aware of his role within the squad, a well-rounded group of experienced and young players.
“[Montreal] is definitely growing on me,” Ching told reporters last Wednesday after his new club's 2-0 preseason defeat to the Dynamo at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. “You know, obviously it was a very emotional time for me when it all happened, but like I said, I’ve been with the team for about a month now. I enjoy playing with the guys, I enjoy the project of trying to build a competitive team here, and it’s a work in progress.”
While he played 45 minutes last Wednesday, Ching was not included in the lineup that played to a scoreless draw against the Portland Timbers on Friday.
Monday’s announcement means Ching will not play in the Impact's preseason match against the LA Galaxy on Tuesday.