CARSON, Calif. – His name is not David Beckham and he doesn’t run like Landon Donovan. But he’s another MLS legend who could be playing his last game at MLS Cup on Saturday (4:30 pm ET on ESPN, TeleFutura, TSN and RDS).
Houston Dynamo forward Brian Ching is still leaving open the possibility of returning for one final go-round in 2013, but his comments after his team’s final practice session ahead of MLS Cup 2012 will not inspire much hope.
“Mentally you’re still capable, but physically you’re not capable,” Ching told reporters on Friday afternoon. “I don’t know if I’m capable of doing a full 90 at this level any more.”
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His Houston teammates credit Ching’s selfless and professional attitude in making the transition from a full-time starter to bench player during the 2012 season (he was used as a sub 17 times). It was a move triggered by a chronic right knee problem he has battled since 2006.
Ching had two meniscus surgeries on the knee and admits that the area is missing cartilage and “it’s kind of bone on bone.”
“Some days good, some days bad,” Ching said when speaking about how his body feels of late. “To be honest, I’ve needed a little bit of help to get through games. That’s also weighing on my mind as the season ends.”
If Ching decides to hang them up, he says that he’s already spoken to club president Chris Canetti about a spot in the Dynamo front office and “they’re going to make room for me.”
The 34-year-old says that he’ll give it about a month to make his final decision after MLS Cup. But will winning it all on Saturday afternoon impact which way he leans?
“Yeah. I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe. I don’t know,” he said. “Like I said, I really need to sit down and have some conversations with friends, the coaching staff and doctors and see where I’m at.”