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First Testimonial Match in MLS History

The Houston Dynamo sent one of its original players off in style during the first testimonial match in MLS history. Brian Ching, a forward with the team since 2006, retired in December and will now serve as the managing director of the women’s soccer team, Houston Dash. As a tribute to Ching, I worked on an interview with the “Dynamo Zone” team that covered Ching’s life on and off the pitch.

Ching helped the team bring home the MLS Cup in 2006 for its inaugural season when he scored the game-tying goal and winning penalty kick and continued to serve as a leader through other moments in his career.

The match was held in December at BBVA Compass Stadium in downtown Houston and all proceeds from it went toward The House that Ching Built and Houston Habitat for Humanity, initiatives that raise funds to build homes for deserving families. According to,  a total of $130,000 was raised.

Testimonial matches have long been a part of the tradition in European football clubs.

You can see both parts of the interview below. I’ll start covering the Dynamo again when the season kicks off March 8.

Part 1

Part 2


The Art of Acrobatic Dunking

Let there be flight! That’s the mantra of Acrodunk, and it couldn’t be more true. It’s one thing to see the high-flying dunk team in action – it’s another to get off the sidelines and do it yourself. That’s what I did (as evidenced toward the end of the story). I sat down with Jerry Burrell, founder of Acrodunk and former Houston Rockets mascot. Burrell wowed crowds during Rockets halftime shows in the 80’s and 90’s as Booster, and then his alter ego, Turbo.  Learn more about how Acrodunk formed, including how they prepared for both of their America’s Got Talent performances, and who really coined the term – Acrodunk!