HOUSTON – Houston captain Brian Ching will see a lot of familiar faces when the Dynamo make their first appearance at Stade Saputo to face the Montreal Impact Saturday (7:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online).
The 11-year veteran was part of possibly the most talked-about storyline of the offseason when the Impact chose him with their first pick in last November’s Expansion Draft. Two-and-a-half months, some public and private back-and-forth conversation and a conditional draft pick later, the Dynamo captain is back in Orange and is ready to face his, however brief, former team.
“When I was there, I made some good friendships with the guys on the team,” Ching said on Friday. “All the guys there are good guys and I enjoyed my time. Having said that, I’m facing them tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it.”
One thing Ching got to know well, along with the team, was the fans. During his time north of the border, Ching got a feel for the support the club has behind them and he is expecting that the Dynamo will feel the full brunt of it when they face the Impact in just the second match at their new home.
WATCH: Ching discusses upcoming match with Montreal
Having gone through the same experience with his club just a month-and-a-half ago, Ching knows the type of boost a new home can give a club and he noted that it has already showed on the field.
“Look at their first game in a new stadium and they put a whupping on a pretty good team,” said Ching of Montreal’s 4-1 win over the Seattle Sounders in Stade Saputo's inaugural MLS match. “Their fan base is a great one and the atmosphere is fantastic up there and I’m looking forward to going up there and being a part of it."
Although excited, Ching is aware that he and his Dynamo teammates will need to have a solid start to quiet the crowd.
“If we go out there and come like we did in our last game, we’ll be in trouble,” the striker continued. “We’ve got to carry the momentum from the second half we played [in Wednesday's 3-3 comeback draw with Toronto] and take that desire and fight into the start of the game on Saturday.”
Ching will be leading that charge from first kick after getting an abbreviated rest Wednesday night, and the Dynamo are happy that he is back on their side of the pitch.
“It’s great to have Brian here," defender Geoff Cameron said with a smile. "He’s got a few miles on him, but he knows how to get the job done. I think he’s one of the best true holding forwards the US has ever produced.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.