HOUSTON -- Houston Dynamo forward Brian Ching has been fined $500 by Major League Soccer for criticizing the officiating in a recent game through his Twitter account.
Ching didn't play in Houston's 2-1 loss in Seattle on Saturday because he was playing for the United States later that night in a Gold Cup match in Foxborough, Mass. Ching watched the Dynamo on television.
Houston led 1-0 when Seattle's Fredy Montero fired a shot in the 32nd minute. Dynamo defender Mike Chabala kicked the ball away near the goal line, but linesman Emiliano Monje said the ball crossed the line and awarded the goal, tying the game at 1-1.
Within minutes, Ching posted his reaction on Twitter.
"Ref in seattle just cheated the dynamo," Ching tweeted. "What a joke. Not even close. Ref is a cheat."
He apologized in two Twitter posts the next morning, blaming "the heat of the moment."
Ching, 31, is Houston's all-time leading scorer and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2006 MLS Cup, the first of the franchise's back-to-back championships.
A Dynamo spokesman declined comment.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press