Expansion drafts can be tough for a player. No expansion team is ever good right from the start, so why would you want to leave your team to play for a brand new one with no following and no reputation? Unfortunately, a player sometimes has no choice. Unless, of course, you threaten to retire like soccer player Brian Ching.
Ching, the Houston Dynamo’s all-time leading scorer, was chosen by the Montreal Impact with the first pick in the MLS expansion draft on Wednesday. According to the Houston Chronicle, Ching had said prior to the draft that he would retire and work in the Dynamo’s front office is Montreal selected him.
The reason is Montreal’s coach, Jesse Marsch. Marsch was one of the assistant coaches for Bob Bradley’s 2010 U.S. World Cup team and Ching was one of the last cuts before the team made its trip to South Africa. Ching insists he would never play for anyone other than Houston coach Dominic Kinnear, but Kinnear chose not to give him the off-limits label heading into the expansion draft.
“I’m very surprised he was selected and very sad,” Kinnear said. “This was a chance we took in leaving him unprotected, and obviously, our gamble didn’t pay off.”
Now, there is nothing left for Ching to do but pray for a trade, suck it up and get over it, or hang his cleats up before he was ready.