Report: Houston, Montreal in advanced talks over Ching trade


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The storyline that has been at the forefront of the MLS offseason appears to be on its way to reaching its resolution.

According to reports out of Houston, the Houston Dynamo are engaged in advanced talks with the Montreal Impact for a deal that would send former Dynamo captain and forward Brian Ching back to Houston. Exactly what would be going from Houston to Montreal was not divulged, but Ching going to Houston would provide a boost for a club in need of more reliable forward options. The deal, according to Houston's Fox television affiliate, is contingent on Houston and Ching coming to terms on a new contract agreement.

The Impact announced on Monday that Ching took a leave of absence from preseason training for "personal reasons," raising an eyebrow over whether a deal involving him might be in the works.

The possibility of Ching being dealt from Montreal to Houston has been raised ever since the MLS Expansion Draft, when Montreal selected the player despite his assertion that he would retire if picked. The Impact called his bluff, and Ching reported to Montreal's preseason and has participated with the club throughout its preparations for its first MLS season.

Ching faced off against the Dynamo just last week in a preseason match, and in his post-game comments he made it seem like he had accepted his professional fate. 

"It's definitely growing on me," Ching told SBI. "Obviously, it was a very emotional time for me when (the trade) happened, but like I said, I’ve been with the team for about a month now and I enjoy playing with the guys and I enjoy the project of trying to build a competitive team here. It’s still a work in progress."

Instead, it looks like he might just be getting his wish and returning to the city in which he's played since 2006.


What do you think of this development?

Share your thoughts below.

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54 Responses to Report: Houston, Montreal in advanced talks over Ching trade

  1. my inner 14 year old says:

    instead of calling the Houston FO he called the waaaaaaaaahmbulance.

  2. A wise man once said says:


  3. Devin Brown says:

    If Houston trades, let’s say, Mac Kandji for Ching, then they break even on the trade since Houston got Kandji for a 2014 draft pick and the Dynamo got a 2013 draft pick from Portland for Kris Boyd’s discovery rights.

    If that were to transpire, it seems like it solves a problem for all parties. Houston gets Ching without taking a hit. Montreal gets a needed attacking player and Jesse Marsch is free to spin this any way he wants and save face.

  4. Idaho Brian says:

    I suspect it will be allocation $$$ to help with the aquisition of a DP.

  5. Kishan Jeter says:

    As a season ticket holder for the Houston Dynamo since the beginning of 2006 I think Brian Ching has earned the right to finish his career in Orange. Doesn’t matter if he only scores 1 goal for the entire season. He does so much work off the ball it’s incredible. He controls the game, makes great decisions under pressure, is a constant threat in the box on set pieces, hustles and chases down balls, isn’t afraid to challenge 50/50 balls, pressures the backline of defense towards any team, and isn’t selfish with the ball for he truely understands that this is a team sport and it takes a team to win championships. Bring Brian home!

  6. EN says:

    We don’t have any allocation money. Also our cap space is extremely tight. If we do sign a new deal with Ching, I hope he takes a huge pay cut to play this year otherwise I have no clue how we’ll fit everyone under the cap.

  7. MC Pharaoh says:

    Thats not going to happen. They needed two forwards to replace Costly & Ching. Kandji was one of those signings.

  8. isaf says:

    well it’s good to know he will get a chance to retire with the club he has achieved a lot for. Sign him to a 2 year contract with a sweat deal. Probably will be making less than 300 K though

  9. The Imperative Voice says:

    I wouldn’t put it past us to trade age for relative youth, just to have him here for a stadium year victory lap, but it doesn’t make objective sense. But then we haven’t won since 2007 IMO because the sense of what is necessary to win a title has not evolved. Second place, maybe, we defend and hustle, but hiring Ching back says we don’t understand what a 2012 offense needs.

    That is to say, I was unopposed to us exposing and losing him in the draft — doesn’t play and score enough anymore, for DP cap hit — and hoped we’d use his cap to hire someone good and younger. But we’ve not, the Trinidadian trialist has been flushed, and it’s Kandji and a bunch of rookies and mediocrities in camp. And someone called Sato or Soto I’ve never heard of from the lower rungs of Brazil.

    Which means the real choice is sit on the cap room and hire someone summer window, or make the fan friendly but underproductive move to bring Ching back.

    Personally I’d trade Hainault for Ching because he’s too slow and Kinnear’s affection for slow stick figures is why we get beat by players like Keane for key goals. It would be an excuse to make the move. But that’s probably overpaying. Unfortunately I presume we’ll give up something useful like a draft pick or allocation and create a different problem we’ll have to fix down the road.

  10. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    I was so angry when Bradley picked Findley over Ching for the last F roster spot for the WC. I think we could have used Ching’s hold-up skills better than Findley’s dribble-out-of-bounds skills.

  11. Devin Brown says:

    Hainault was too slow when he wasn’t busy scoring goals last year :)

  12. The Imperative Voice says:

    The dude is falling apart — something like 15 games and 5 goals last year — if we commit ourselves to more than 1 year we are nuts. And from my POV that’s a compromise because I wouldn’t even bring him back. It’s style over substance. There’s a reason we couldn’t score enough goals last season, including in the final.

    I’m really worried that 06/07 sentimentality is interfering with objectively trying to make Houston a winner again. It’s like the Rockets with T-Mac and Yao or Astros with Bags and Biggio. Broken down players past their prime retained just to make the fans feel better. I think the fans will be happy with a new winner just the same.

    The more cynical might suggest that Kinnear is either too cheap or out of ideas to replace the 06/07 generation appropriately. Got beat to Boyd, picked up Costly, Akinbiyi, et al. When your high point at forward acquisition in the past few years is Oduro, who you spite-trade for blowing a goal week 1 after signing him back two weeks earlier….only for him to score 10+ for Chicago…..maybe you need a new approach.

  13. The Imperative Voice says:

    (a) Hainault was one of the two CBs getting burnt for the MLS Cup winner;
    (b) Hainault got burnt by KC and Chivas in their 3 goal games against us last year, couldn’t even keep up with Braun;
    (c) Hainault and Boz got beat just the other day for a goal by the Timbers in preseason. Guy runs straight up Route 1.

    Personally I think it’s goofy to favor occasional defender goalscoring — to the point where backs score as much as forwards — over actually acquiring forwards to score. I remember back in the day when DeRo or Ngwenya could actually score goals. Perish the thought not everything has to come off a deadball like we’re Stoke!

  14. cfig says:

    As no one has yet found a use for Findley three seasons later I imaging most would agree with you. Ching definitely deserved that spot.

  15. Gord Downie says:

    Hainault, Cameron, Davis and Hall are all untouchable. My bets on either a first round superdraft pick or Sarkodie.

  16. Spencer says:

    not sure it is allocation money, but either way I think it has to do with $$$ for a DP as you have said, they would love to get rid of his salary

  17. Helium-3 says:

    I’m not a Dynamo supporter but what value do they see in Ching coming back when you already have Bruin ready to step in. Bruin might not have the workrate or can knock balls down for other forwards yet, but he is more athletic than Ching and looks a bit faster too.

    If you can get Ching for some draft picks, fine, but don’t trade a starting(younger) player for him as it doesn’t make sense.

  18. cfig says:

    Bruin’s not quite ready yet, he’ll be a solid MLS striker in due time but he isn’t yet at a point where he can be the primary attacking threat for a team. He’s got surprisingly good skill on the ball and I think would do well to have another season or two of tutelage under Ching.

  19. The Imperative Voice says:

    Sarkodie has yet to show me he can play MLS level soccer. Zakuani abused him last year and he had a bad habit of wanting to pass the ball against the grain into central midfield, which when it gets picked off is like an engraved invitation to counter and score, and what’s worse you are out of position to stop it. He has high youth NT pedigree and some speed to sell the deal but sucks just enough to justify it and make it wise.

    Cameron should be the only defensive untouchable. The GA was not that great and I blame the stick figures and Ashe.

    Hall has his moments but he also has his gaffes (Colorado) and sometimes I wish he caught more than he parried. He also started off the season with weak, short distribution. Punts and goal kicks to around half field. I can do better than that. He has talent but he needs to develop more to really merit “untouchable.”

    The only guy on the team I wouldn’t touch is Davis, that’s the Franchise. Everyone else is the sort of sentimentalism I think holds the Dynamo back…there’s good and then there’s GOOD. When we used to have Holden and Onstad and Clark and DeRo we were spoiled. The fans have not adjusted since and unfortunately apply the same level of affection to circus acts like Moffat. People need to remember what really GOOD looks like, it’s not Ching anymore, not anyone you listed but Davis and Cameron if he gets his head on straight (bad habit of falling asleep).

  20. Paddy Megroyn says:

    I think Marsch’s final demand will be that Kinnear has to lick a white dog turd.

    Just a hunch.

  21. The Imperative Voice says:

    You take away Bruin’s hat trick against the lousy team DC started as and he looks less “wow.” I think he has promise but planning around promise sounds kind of naive for a Kinnear team. He’s Mr. Veteran….main reason Bruin played is Ching got hurt…..although he does have his favorites.

  22. Indigo Montoya says:

    sure – couldn’t believe that ching wasn’t at wc ’10.

  23. hogatroge says:

    As a Houston fan, I hope you’re right.

  24. hogatroge says:

    I could see Ching’s contract being a 1 year deal with a dramatic paycut, but also a guaranteed FO spot after this year.

  25. hogatroge says:

    I would agree that Davis and Cameron are the only untouchables. I would be sad to see Moffat, Clark, Bruin, or Hall go. Additionally, I just got excited about Kandji…so that would be disappointing too.

    Actually, I thought Ashe steadily improved last season…especially after he felt he had to justify his All-Star call up. He was, after all, converted to a FB role from MF.

  26. jobob says:

    Sure they do. Just have to grab it off the mls-allocation money tree. Just ask LA…

  27. Charlie N. says:

    Is the dog white, or the turd?

  28. William says:

    Juve, is that you?

  29. AC/DC says:

    i know right? seems like Juve

  30. cfig says:

    One of the best attacking players in the league abused a 19 year old rookie fullback? Shocking I tell you!

  31. Paddy Megroyn says:

    The turd, no possessive used.

  32. The Imperative Voice says:

    I like Clark and Hall of that bunch. I don’t know what happened with Clark last year, he disappeared at the end. Closest thing to Davis on the other side. Hall has room to grow but can be built around.

    But Bruin needs seasoning and Moffat is a circus act. Not exactly Ching and R. Clark at their peaks.

    I think you’re either a natural back or not, Cameron “has it,” Ashe doesn’t. Most of the time he just runs with his man like Landon. And then there’s the matter of his distribution…awful. In theory the motor and speed of Ashe should work, but in practice I’d like someone who gets stuck in and makes smart passes.

  33. The Imperative Voice says:

    They’re both first round picks from Akron with a USYNT pedigree. Particularly considering they overlapped at school and probably practiced together one should not be abusing the other. To the extent one did, I took it as a graphic statement of how one’s panned out so far and the other hasn’t, rather than obviously what must happen.

    I can’t understate how much Sarkodie has flopped so far, he makes Ashe look composed. And that is a shocker for an Akron first round pick.

  34. The Imperative Voice says:

    Whats Juve?

  35. RAMONE says:

    Not being a Dynamo supporter either, I find this entire Ching escapade a bit odd. Dynamo supporters think they should get him back for a song. Long lists of guys above they don’t think are worth giving him up for … it seems they think everyone on their squad of any value is worth too much in trade. So, it begs the question, why do you want him back? For sentimental reasons alone?

    I don’t see it in this thread, but every other discussion of Ching being picked in the expansion draft had some level of rage against Montreal. I am certainly no fan of Montreal, but seriously, if you are going to expose a guy then you have to be willing to let him go. This public bluff poison pill talk (that he’d retire if picked) was comical.

    I have no problem with Houston trading to get him back (probably a guy they should have left exposed instead in the first place) but the idea that Ching is important enough to work to get back but really not worth giving up anything is a little odd to me.

  36. Roy Haynes says:

    Ching did not say that to SBI. He said it to a group of media, including the league’s website’s cameras. Don’t claim exclusivity when you don’t have it.

  37. The Imperative Voice says:

    Houston exposed him to the draft and someone took him. Buy the ticket take the ride.

    In terms of the stereotypical fan response, it’s a one-paper town where the reporter is pretty rah-rah, and Glenn Davis’ radio show is rarely critical. There is not a Goff or Ives in town who critiques from an intellectual or journalistic distance.

    But back on subject I’d suggest it’s a bluff both ways because Montreal’s worst nightmare is being stuck with him when the music stops. And if Montreal is really in pursuit of a DP they may not actually want a roster-spot and cap-space filling warm body anymore. But I don’t know if we have allocations and Kandji was gotten for a sliding-scale 2013 pick. So we can’t trade that pick twice.

    If we have to trade someone, personally the Quebecois Hainault is overrated and would be ideal for Montreal. Have him. Failing that, I could see Kinnear trading one of the Jamaicans (Watson and Taylor) — neither of whom he’s snowed with and who remain oddly on the roster nonetheless — or maybe Sarkodie, who I think is a flop pick.

  38. Ariel says:

    Hainault is part of the reason why Houston made it to MLS Cup

  39. Brick says:

    Hello Didier!

  40. Kishan Jeter says:

    You’re to harsh on Brian. He’s worked hard and tirelessly under Kinnear. In 1998 he tore his right knee miniscus, 1998 he had a left facial fracture, 2001 a right facial fracture, 2003 a right achilles tendon, 2005 right middle finger broken, 2005 right hamstring, 2006 right knee injury (again), 2008 broken left ribs, 2009 left knee injury, and 2011 broken left thumb. These are just his top 10 injuries, not to mention other injuries. He’s worked hard for Houston and deserves the opportunity to retire in Orange. Kinnear pays the team, on average, higher than most MLS teams it’s just higher profile players don’t want to live here. I don’t know if it’s the heat, humidity, or that it’s Texas? Oduro’s trade was already in the mix, whether he scored that goal he flubbed or not, he was gone. I’m glad he was able to perform better under a different system (Chicago). I wish him all the best. Akinbiyi, Landin, Costly, Koke, Carrachio, and Caig were all busted. The brazilian, Luiz Carmargo, is the only foreign player that’s performed well for Houston. Bring Brian Home!

  41. julio says:

    What a joke this has become and for the most part most of these trades in the MLS. It’s like the girl who can’t decided and makes a decision and then goes back on it…I mean come on!!!! Stick to a decision and see it through.

  42. Jaba says:

    20 Houston fans we’re holding the FO hostage on ticket renewals

  43. The Imperative Voice says:

    The list of trade-outs is bad….Kamara, Oduro, DeRo, Wondo. You then pair that with the sign-ins and it’s pretty unimpressive.

    Don’t get me wrong, DK can implement a system and sign fighting players, I think he just forgets how important the skill players like DeRo, Clark, and Holden used to be back in the day when we won the silverware. He’s become a self-caricature and we’ve lost to LA the last two playoff runs. We need to score goals to advance and I don’t see Ching doing that.

    I know plenty of people who see it my way and would rather have us win than do the nostalgia thing. There’s a history around here of losing while providing a home to loveable Berkman, Biggio, Bagwell, TMac, Yao. I’d rather hire the next big star and be a winner instead. Live in the now.

    Oduro took crap for missing the Philly goal but the irony was his was one of the few chances the whole game. Garey was a non-entity and is now in the minors. Bruin didn’t create much. Oduro creates a chance, flubs it yes, but gets traded for it. Then we struggle for offense until Carr finally gets healthy.

    Ching, all due respect for fighting back from injury, is getting hurt because he’s getting old. The two go together and it’s naive to believe this will be an injury-free victory lap with high production. In which case I’d rather have a younger goalscorer on the make than a nostalgia trip.

  44. cfig says:

    Dude, he’s played in a total of 7 MLS games. He’s FAR from a flop at this point.

  45. The Imperative Voice says:

    Or, let me put it differently. Brad Davis, the current Franchise, is 30 years old. That’s a telling Rubicon for soccer players and he IS the tablesetter for the team in lieu of a #10. You blow off one or two more years giving Ching his Blaze of Glory and Davis is 32 and the window starts to close on winning behind Davis. You already see what happened to us without Davis in the final. I see promise in Soto and Clark looks good sometimes but I don’t know if they can be Davis. So you have this window of Davis setting teammates up, and then you have the unknown beyond that. You waste that window building a Ching shrine and we may not have a real chance to win for a while. Cause while DK has gotten in strong defensive players all I’ve seen is entropy in the attack….DeRo, Holden, Clark, and on and on.

  46. The Imperative Voice says:

    AJ Soares, pick in front of him, 28 games for NE. Jalil Anibaba, 2 picks behind him, 29 games for the Fire. CJ Sapong was 3 picks behind him…and he looks not merely competent but pretty good, good enough to merit a international callup. Michael Farfan, regular for Philly. Joao Plata, stud for TFC.

    Now, granted, he played more than Nanchoff for the Caps but that’s hardly a skills advertisement.

    And to me the issue was even more HOW he played than how much. Sometimes rookies are brought along slowly. Holden took months to get PT…though in retrospect I think that was silly. But Sarkodie would make mistakes and get turned around. He didn’t even look competent. Kareem Jackson-esque, to use a term Houstonians generally understand.

    Don’t get me wrong, I was eager for a fast RB who could hold a flank and speed up the defense, so it’s not like I want to see him stink. But he couldn’t even beat out Hunter Freeman and we ended up moving Hainault out there instead. That says a lot when we move a slow CB out into your spot because we trust you that little.

    Sorry, flop until he shows me otherwise. You say he’s barely played, I say there’s a reason why.

  47. The Imperative Voice says:

    FWIW, his predecessors in the 1st round, 7th pick spot in 2009 and 2010 were Chris Pontius and then Jack McInerney. Neither of those guys are hiding behind excuses.

  48. Kishan Jeter says:

    While your comments ring true, I feel they are somewhat distorted. Holden, Clark, DeRo, and Mullan wanted to leave for different reasons. You make it sound like Kinnear didn’t value their worth and just threw them away. Oduro showed to little to late and was traded. It’s great that he decided to perform in Chicago, hopefully he can continue. Personally I loved Wondolowski. I ran into him multiple times around Houston. He’s a good down to earth people person. But, he too was longing to return to California where his family was so Kinnear saw an opportunity and helped him with that. All of those player were great players for Houston and continue to be great players at their respected clubs. They’re hard to replace but he’s trying. It’s hard with limited money. Having the new stadium will help incredibly in securing better talent. Yes Ching is old but having him gives, an already very young team, confidence. Confidence is needed for everything. Work, relationships, at the grocery store, dating, etc. The level of experience and confidence that Ching and Davis bring is astounding. Bruin, Carr, Kandji, and Weaver will flourish with Ching’s presense.Think of the movie “Gladiator” when Russell Crowe leads his army into battle.

  49. Reality check says:

    I am at the galaxy Montreal scrimmage and just overheard someone talking directly to someone on the montreal bench about Ching coming to LA??? Not sure if it has anything to do with Chivas or Galaxy or to just to sign paperwork but it sounded like the announcement would be made tomorrow.

  50. The Imperative Voice says:

    I don’t see how it’s a “distortion” to point out that a coach who once had a pretty darned good attack, circa 06/07, has proven less and less effective at re-creating it. It was a steady deterioration from DeRo to Holden in the middle to Cameron plugged in the middle to you pick ’em last season.

    All due respect to trying but I haven’t seen a decent center attacking midin the #10 format even trialed much less signed here since Holden left a few years ago. And I feel like the litany of Caraccio, Akinbiyi, Landin, Garey, Koke, and Costly speaks for itself.

    You may point out Weaver and Bruin, but 5 goals in a great season is nothing to write home about. What kind of strike rate is that? Bruin has promise, but part of the problem with the forward line is speed and mobility…I’m glad Kandji was brought in.

    And I think it matters to silverware success because we used to score goals through DeRo and Holden in the run of play, and now it’s predominantly dead balls in their absence.

    Everyone looked to Ching in 2010 and Oduro flourished. Carr was what elevated the offense to decent late in the year. I anticipate Kandji will offer the same wrinkle this year. But I don’t see a really great striker and I think the whole mess of Dynamo strikers save Kandji are overrated. They get paid to score. And the backs score as much as they do! What does that tell you?

  51. smokeminside says:


  52. Kishan Jeter says:

    “What does that tell me?” It says that you prefer a team with dedicated forwards who score repeatedly and produce highlight reel after highlight real. The reason Houston made it to the finals last year with the youngest team in MLS (average age) and what made them so dangerous was the fact that teams didn’t know where the goals were going to come from. Boswell, Cameron, Hainault, Ching, Bruin, etc. They all had 5 or more goals. The only thing that was predictable was that the service was coming from Brad Davis. Teams tried all season to stop him and they couldn’t. The only thing that stopped Brad Davis was his body finally gave out.

    Carr, Kandji, etc. are good in that they offer speed and can help stretch opposing teams defenses like Oduro did and I agree that our midfield has struggled since Clark, Holden, and DeRo left but I’m really excited at what Luiz Carmargo has to offer once he’s match fit and Adam Moffatt has been a great addition as well. What’s missing is a right midfielder. Having Colin Clark, who’s left footed, play right midfield is a no-no. Also, Moffatt and Carmargo need to switch places. Carmargo is to passive to play an attacking mid position and Moffatt is to aggressive to be a defensive midfielder.

    Again, what you fail to realize is that it costs MONEY to attract good talent and when the Dynamo were playing at Robertson Stadium, the Univ. of Houston was getting a very large slice of the revenue. Now with our own stadium, that scenario changes.

    It’s true, you have to score goals to win and Houston did that, they just weren’t all from the forwards/strikers. Houston won back to back championships because of their defense and their midfielders and that’s what Kinnear is trying to recreate.

  53. The Imperative Voice says:

    To win championships we need another DeRo and arguably a striker like Ching in his prime. I think you’re blinded by a decent playoff run that ran right into the LA buzzsaw. Which if you’re paying attention has happened twice in three years. I don’t care what concept Kinnear thinks he has — strong defense first or whatever — without more offense we won’t beat LA. We’ve been eliminated by them twice in three years without scoring a goal.

    We made it to the final based on a stout defense and Brad Davis. Subtract Brad Davis and you had an offense unable to produce a goal in the final. You tout the diversified scoring but the reality is that in a huge game I can’t expect Hainault to score a goal in the run of play. Against LA or the really good teams they aren’t going to give up many dead ball goals, they aren’t going to give up crap scores, and you will have to earn it. We need better offense to earn it.

    I recognize it costs money but I also recognize we are now in the new stadium — Robertson is no longer an excuse — and AEG long ago said “Go Big.”

    I look forward to the season and particularly the CCL, but the ability to move from 08-present also-rans back to 06/07 champions revolves around upping the offense. DK’s recent obsession with defense has made a caricature of himself. This used to be a team that could score goals. Remember 5-2 over Colorado the first night? Go back and look at the old scorelines, this used to be a team that could put up 4 or 3 goals if that’s what it took to win.

    FWIW, having watched Hainault and Boz get split by the Timbers for goals in preseason, I’m not sold this defense is in an end-state, which you seem to suggest. I think the defense needs to get even tougher to ensure championships.