BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas is the site for another historic soccer moment in 2013. Most will remember it as the site of the record breaking home unbeaten streak for the Houston Dynamo. On Friday December 13th, BBVA will host the first ever testimonial match for an American soccer player. A long standing tradition in European soccer, the Brian Ching testimonial match recognizing an iconic like career for one of Ameica's favorite players.
Ching, 35, had a long road to the top of American soccer. Never considered the fastest or most talented player on the field, the Hawaiian born forward epitomized hard work breeds success. Drafted 16th in the MLS 2001 draft, Ching won an U.S. Open Cup title in his first season with the L.A. Galaxy before being cut and landing with the Seattle Sounders then a second division soccer team. The gritty grinder returned to MLS action with the San Jose Earthquakes in 2003 winning an MLS Cup title in his first season in Southern California.
Ching exploded onto the Houston scene as the San Jose franchise became the Houston Dynamo in 2006 quickly becoming the face of the franchise and the community. In the organization's first game, Ching scored a record setting four goals. Since then he has helped lead the team to four MLS Cup appearances and winning two more titles.
“I think it’s pretty neat on a personal level to be remembered that way, to be remembered as a guy that helped kick off soccer again in Houston,” Ching told HoustonDynamo.com. “For me personally, I couldn’t have scripted it any better to start off with my love affair with the city."
Individually, Ching has earned MLS Comeback Player of the Year, MLS Golden Boot, a member of the MLS Best XI and a member of the 2006 U.S. Men's World Cup team.
Within the Houston, number 25 is known for the House That Ching Built, a collaboration with Habitat for Humanity to raise money to help underprivileged families become homeowners.
Ching will step on the pitch Friday night for the final time with some of the game's biggest names including Landon Donovan and former Dynamo greats Pat Onstad and Dwayne De Rosario..