The Houston Dynamo announced Thursday that the Crew's Danny O'Rourke and Frankie Hejduk have been added to the star-studded list of players that will be attending in The Brian Ching Testimonial Match at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston on December 13. Other stars that will be sending Ching off in style include Landon Donovan, Dwayne de Rosario, Chris Wondolowski and Jimmy Conrad.
As a rookie, O'Rourke played alongside Ching with the San Jose Earthquakes during the 2005 season before the first MLS incarnation of the 'Quakes moved to Houston in 2006. Hejduk and Ching represented the United States on several occassions together, including the 2009 edition of "Dos a Cero" against Mexico at Crew Stadium.
Ching's testimonial will benefit the Dynamo legend's charitable initiative, The House That Ching Built, and Habitat for Humanity.
Though MLS Cup has yet to be played for, the silly season of trade rumors has already begun. According to a report from Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl on Wednesday, Seattle Sounders FC is shopping U.S. Men's National Team forward Eddie Johnson. Since returning to MLS following a three-year stint in Europe, the 29-year-old Johnson scored 14 goals in 2012 and nine in 2013 and has seen a resurgence in his international career under Jürgen Klinsmann.
However, Johnson has shown he's not pleased with his salary situation, as evidenced by his "pay me" celebration following his game-winning goal against the Crew on August 31 in Columbus.
Would Johnson be a good fit for the Black & Gold? Like Dominic Oduro, Johnson can play either up top or on the wing to stretch defenses with his speed. Johnson will likely require a high price tag upon departing Seattle, probably more than the Crew would be willing to spend if new Sporting Director Gregg Berhalter hopes to retain Oduro, who is coming off a career year with the Black & Gold after scoring 13 goals.
Johnson scored at Crew Stadium twice in 2013, both with the Sounders and the U.S. National Team, and the charismatic forward has been complimentary of Columbus in the past.
What do you think, Crew fans? Despite the salary cap hurdles. do you want to see Johnson in Black & Gold next season? Comment below.
Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter joined MLSsoccer.com's ExtraTime Radio podcast yesterday to talk about the Crew's new direction heading into the offseason.
On Veterans Day, the Crew and its players took to Twitter to honor the sacrifice of those serving in the United States military.
— Columbus Crew (@ColumbusCrew) November 11, 2013
Happy Veterans Day to all the men and women who served our great country & ones who presently defend our freedom each day. #truesacrifice
— Ethan Finlay (@EthanFinlay13) November 11, 2013
Forever grateful and many thanks to our veterans. Can't be stressed enough. ❤
— Eric Gehrig (@eGehrig16) November 11, 2013
Happy Veterans Day! Thanks too all the people who risk their lives for our freedom! #Respect
— Kyle Hyland (@KyleHyland31) November 11, 2013
Crew attackers Federico Higuaín and Jairo Arrieta have advanced on to the Round of 16 in MLSsoccer.com's 2013 Latino del Año competition. In the first knockout round, Higuaín will square off against Budweiser Golden Boot winner Camilo of Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Arrieta will challenge the Colorado Rapids' Hendry Thomas.
Voting in the Round of 16 runs through 11:59 p.m. ET on November 10.
Though the First Team’s season has come to an end, the final Black & Gold match of 2013 is taking place tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. ET at the Crew’s Obetz Training Facility. A side composed of Academy players and guest players will lineup against trialists for newly minted NASL side Indy 11. The game is being opened to the public, so fans interested in attending are welcome to watch the Crew one final time this year. Those making the trip should park in the lot on the training complex’s west side between the two practice fields, accessing the facility through the center gate. Fans are asked to sit on the bleachers on the opposite side of the team benches.