CARSON (g4s) — Much of the media’s attention this week has been focused on the impending departure of LA Galaxy’s David Beckham and possible retirement/departure of his teammate and captain, Landon Donovan. Lost in that discuss is the uncertain future of another MLS and US National Team mainstay (and gay4soccer #soccerally), Houston Dynamo’s Brian Ching.
Ching took time out of his practice session yesterday to talk about his health, his career plans and ending his career where he “always wanted to be.”
“The little hiccup with Montreal is over and in the past,” said Ching, downplaying the drama that started the season when Dynamo played fast and loose with the expansion draft rules, leaving Ching off of its protected list secure in the assumption that Montreal would pass him over. What resulted was just short of a hostage situation, with Montreal insisting on playing their new target forward and Houston scrambling to recover a man whose play and fan appeal cemented the team’s reputation with locals when Dynamo relocated (and rebranded) from San Jose nearly seven years ago.
Fortunately for Ching, Houston and Montreal came to a trade compromise and Ching returned to Houston, putting in a solid campaign for his side. Plagued by knee problems throughout his career, Ching played in 30 league matches this year — starting only 13 of them — while notching five goals and five assists. He acknowledges that it hasn’t been easy.
“I’ve had a lot of injuries over my career,” Ching replied when asked about his physical condition. “To be honest, sometimes I needed a little bit of help to get through games.”
Whether Ching decides to end his playing days after tomorrow’s MLS Cup final, he intends to repay Houston’s loyalty to him in another capacity – plans he says have already been discussed with his team’s front office.
“I definitely want to be a part of of the organization. I’ve sat down and talked with [Houston Pres of Business Operations] Chris Canetti and they’re going to make room form me. As far as what that is yet, we’ll wait and see.”
In all of the nominating, voting, and presenting of our end of the season awards, someone stood out so much that it was decided to add an award for Person of the Year.
The winner of Person of the Year 2012 is…
Was there any doubt? Megan was your pick for Best Goal Celebrations, Best Hair, Person You Want to See on MLS 36, Cutest Couple, Most Likely to Change the World, and Story of the Year. And she was nominated in countless other categories as well.
Thank you so much Megan for your awesome play on the field, the fun you bring us off of it, and the inspiration you always provide for so many people. We love ya.
Megan Rapinoe is on the cover of Canada’s Xtra Magazine. Check out her interview.
This one is very tough for me. You sent in so many deserving nominees and if left to my own devices there would have been no way I could have picked a winner among them. They have marched for marriage equality, produced groundbreaking videos, and stood in line for hours to be photographed with duct tape on their mouths. And personally, there are people on this list whom I have come to know as friends. Thank you all so much for your support throughout the year.
The nominees are:
- Brian Dunseth & Chris Wingert
- Mike Chabala, Ben Olsen & Chris Pontius
- The Chicago Fire
- Jimmy Conrad
- Mike Boxall, Jay DeMerit & Jordan Harvey
- Kyle Martino
- Amobi Okugo
- AJ Soares
- The Timbers Army
- The You Can Play Project
But the winner of Ally of the Year 2012 Is…
We conclude our look at your picks for the top stories of 2012 in American soccer with the countdown of the top three.
If you missed the previous four, the countdown looks like this so far:
- #7: USMNT Beats Italy in Italy
- #6: Sporting KC Breaks Seattle’s US Open Cup Streak
- #5: Eddie Johnson’s Comeback Season
- #4: Chris Wondolowski’s Record Season
Time to conclude with the top three:
#3: The US Women’s National Team Repeats Olympic Gold
It was a threepeat for the women of the USA at the London 2012 Olympics, and in the five times a women’s soccer tournament has been played at the Olympics, America has won four gold and one silver.
One of the questions we asked you in our end of the year polling was what were the Top Stories of 2012 in soccer. We begin the countdown with your first four nominations.
#7: The US Men’s National Team Beats Italy in Italy
Your model for why American soccer is awesome, Clint Dempsey, becomes only the fourth player to score against Italy for a 1-0 first-time victory over Italy.
When you’re trying to sell friends on soccer, who do you use an example of why it’s so great? Here’s who you said is your Poster Model for “American Soccer is Awesome.”
All of the great nominees do a great job of this, congratulations!
- Jimmy Conrad
- Clint Dempsey
- Steven Lenhart
- Lee Nguyen
- Heath Pearce
- Chris Pontius
- Megan Rapinoe
- Abby Wambach
- Chris Wondolowski
But the winner of the Best Poster Model for “American Soccer is Awesome” is…
One of the great things about soccer in America is the constant effort to use the sport to do good. Today we honor your pick for Most Likely to Change the World.
Your nominees, who are all to be congratulated for their great off-the-field work, are:
- Jeb Brovsky
- Landon Donovan
- Mike Lahoud
- Alex Morgan
- Darlington Nagbe
- Megan Rapinoe
- Chris Seitz
- Taylor Twellman
But the winner of Most Likely to Change the World for 2012 is…
The Cutest Couple award is a staple of high school yearbooks’ senior superlatives, and it’s now time to reveal your pick for this honor in soccer.
The nominated couples are Jay DeMerit & Ashleigh McIvor, Stu Holden & Karalyn West, Kyle Martino & Eva Amurri Martino, and Megan Rapinoe & Sarah Walsh. Congratulations to all the nominees.
But the winners of the Cutest Couple of 2012 are…
Tango and Cash, Riggs and Murtaugh, Turner and Hooch. What soccer pairing will follow in their footsteps as your pick for Most Likely to Star in a Buddy Cop Movie?
Congratulations to all of the nominated pairs: Kevin Alston & Darrius Barnes, Ryan Jay Bailey & Jimmy Conrad, Davide Chumiento & Eric Hassli, Jason Davis & Jared DuBois, Alan Gordon & Steven Lenhart, Tobin Heath & Kelley O’Hara, Alexi Lalas & Taylor Twellman, Lori Lindsey & Megan Rapinoe, Dax McCarty & Heath Pearce, Eddie Johnson & Fredy Montero.
But the winners of Most Likely to Star in a Buddy Cop Movie 2012 are…
Major League Soccer may have just awarded their Rookie of the Year prize, but the honor we are bestowing to soccer’s next generation is Most Likely to Succeed.
You nominated Chicago’s Austin Berry, DC’s Nick DeLeon, Philadelphia’s Ray Gaddis, Dallas’ Matt Hedges, Vancouver’s Darren Mattocks, and New York’s Ryan Meara. Immensely deserving nominations all around, and they are all to be congratulated for great rookie seasons.
But the winner of the Most Likely to Succeed of 2012 is…