The veteran striker elected to return to the playing field instead of retiring in 2013, but he will also handle duties as an assistant coach on Dominic Kinnear's staff.Veteran forward Brian Ching will be a player and an assistant coach for the Houston Dynamo this season, the club announced on Friday after confirming that he has re-signed with the club.
The 34-year-old Ching put off retirement following Houston's loss in the MLS Cup final in December to return for another season, and he'll split his duties between being part of the team's striker corps while assisting head coach Dominic Kinnear in the team's effort to get back to the league summit.
Ching played in 30 games last season but only started 13, finishing with five goals and five assists. In becoming a player-coach, Ching will assume a similar role to that of former MLS standout and U.S. national team player Josh Wolff with D.C. United last season, when he played in nine games while assisting head coach Ben Olsen.
"We are happy to keep Brian on the team," Kinnear told the club's official website. "Throughout his career, Brian has been a key part of who we are. He has also been an important player on the field and in the locker room."
Ching has scored 82 goals and assisted on 33 others in his illustrious MLS career, with the last seven years being spent in Houston. He was selected by the Montreal Impact in the 2011 MLS Expansion Draft after being left unprotected by the Dynamo, but Houston traded a draft pick to Montreal to recapture his rights.
"It’s nice to formally wrap up Brian’s contract for 2013," said Dynamo president Chris Canetti, who himself signed a contract extension with the club earlier this week. "Having him here was never in question; it just took some time to iron out the details. He is an integral part of our club today and will be into the future."