By DAN KARELL
Brian Ching put the finishing touches on his memorable career with a man-of-the-match performance in his testimonial match, put on by the Houston Dynamo.
Playing with and against teammates and friends of past and present, Ching and his Orange Team defeated the White Team, 6-4 with the former U.S. Men’s National Team forward scoring five goals. Ching came off in the 70th minute to a standing ovation from the fans in attendance at BBVA Compass Stadium.
With the first ever testimonial match in MLS history in the books, Ching closes out his 12-year MLS career with 82 regular season goals and 34 assists, with three MLS Cup titles, one U.S. Open Cup, a six-time MLS All-Star, and a Gold Cup winner. Ching made 45 appearances as well for the U.S. Men’s National Team.
Here are some more stories from around MLS:
FINDLEY, SCHULER OUT FOR NEAR FUTURE AFTER HAVING SURGERY
Two of Real Salt Lake’s stars on their playoffs run to the MLS Cup final will be out of action for an undisclosed amount of time.
Both forward Robbie Findley and defender Chris Schuler underwent successful surgery on Thursday, according to a release from RSL on Friday. Findley had an operation that helped to repair “a torn right patella tendon” that had built up over the last few years, while Schuler had surgery to removed bone spurs from his left ankle.
Though there was some thought that the duo’s playoff performances could have earned them a call-up to the U.S. Men’s National Team for their January camp, this news likely ends any chance of a possible call-up.
D.C. UNITED MAKE DOYLE SIGNING PERMANENT
D.C. United general manager Dave Kasper clearly liked what he saw in Conor Doyle’s three and a half month loan at the club.
Kasper and D.C. United announced on Friday that they’ve finalized a permanent transfer for Doyle from English side Derby County, after the young American scored two goals and assisted on one goal in 14 games, eight of them starts.
“Conor is a very talented, young forward who will continue to improve,” said D.C. United scouting coordinator Kurt Morsink said in a statement. “His ability to get into good spots and anticipate service is very rare for his age, and makes him a unique forward.”
After one season at Creighton, Doyle, who holds an Irish passport, signed with Derby in 2010 and went on to make 22 appearances through July 2013, mostly missing time due to ankle and hamstring injuries. Doyle failed to score a goal while at Derby.
PALMER TRADED TO FIRE
For the second year in a row, Lovel Palmer will be playing on a new team in the next MLS season.
The Chicago Fire announced that they have acquired the versatile defender from Real Salt Lake in exchange for allocation money. Palmer made 17 appearances for RSL in 2013 after joining the club from the Portland Timbers in the last offseason.
“We’re pleased to welcome Lovel to the Fire,” said Fire head coach Frank Yallop in a statement. “He is a versatile, experienced player who will be instrumental in building a deep squad to compete in 2014.”
The Jamaican international reunites with former RSL assistant coach C.J. Brown, who announced earlier this week that he was joining Klopas’ staff with the Fire.
IMPACT CONTINUING NEGOTIATIONS FOR VALENTIN, BERNIER UNDERGOES SURGERY
Montreal Impact defender Zarek Valentin helped Bodø/Glimt return to the Norwegian first division, and the club are hoping to keep him in the squad for next season.
Valentin spent a majority of the season on loan with Bodø from the Impact, but hs is still under contract with the MLS club. However, sporting director Nick De Santis said that negotiations are continuing for the American defender to potentially remain abroad.
“With Zarek, negotiations are ongoing with Bodø/Glimt and the league as well,” De Santis told MLSSoccer.com. “We’ll see what his future holds.”
Meanwhile, one of Velrntin’s Impact teammates, Patrice Bernier, underwent surgery on his right knee to “remove debris” in the area. Bernier will be out for the next four to six weeks.
What do you think of these reports? Enjoy Ching’s testimonial? Do you expect Schuler and Findley to be fit by the start of next season? Do you believe Doyle can improve his goal numbers next season?
Share your thoughts below.