Tuesday, February 6, 2001
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Posted on: Tuesday, February 6, 2001

Hawai'i soccer star Ching chosen by Galaxy

Advertiser Staff

When he was 7 years old, Brian Ching’s mother wanted him to play organized sports. He told her he would agree to try soccer, but only if she coached his team.

Brian Ching won All-Far West Region honors.

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"I was timid," he says now.

So Stephanie Whalen, Brian’s mom, coached an AYSO team in Haleiwa and Brian played.

Yesterday, Brian Ching became the first Hawaii-bred player drafted by a major professional outdoor soccer team in more than 20 years.

Ching was the 16th player taken in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft. He was chosen by the Los Angeles Galaxy in the second round, and reports to practice today.

The season opens in April.

Since he began to receive soccer honors at the Kamehameha Schools (class of 1996), Ching said, he "had aspirations to go as far as I could, but I never really realized I could do it (make the pros) until I got a phone call last summer." The call was an invitation from the Galaxy to come to Los Angeles to work out with the team.

Ching had already graduated from Gonzaga University, but he returned for his final season last fall and won All-Far West Region honors.

He set the Gonzaga record for assists, and is second in points and third in goals.

Ching played the past two seasons with four plates and 12 screws in the left-side of his face. He was hurt when he collided with a goalkeeper’s knee in a summer game for the Spokane Shadow in 1999. He missed the 1998 season because of knee surgery.

The only previous Hawaii-bred player drafted by a major soccer team was Ric Miller (Iolani ’76), who was chosen by the Seattle Sounders of the North American Soccer League in 1980. Now a stockbroker and assistant boys’ coach at Punahou, Miller said, "Brian deserves it. Hawaii should be proud."

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