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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Sunday, August 1, 2004

Ching scores, honors Bulls in all-star game

By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer

San Jose Earthquakes' forward Brian Ching ripped off his uniform, pointing both thumbs to the back of his T-shirt, which read "Congrats U19 Bulls."

Chris Albright, right, of the Western Conference keeps the ball away from Amando Guevara in the first half of the MLS All-Star Game.

Associated Press

It was a celebration of many firsts, especially Ching's first goal in his first Major League Soccer All-Star game yesterday.

"It was kind of an impromptu thing," Ching said of his decision to commemorate the Honolulu Soccer Club Bulls '85 boys capturing the U.S. Youth Soccer Association national championship, Hawai'i's first title. "I just wanted to let the guys know I was watching and congratulations."

The Hale'iwa native, part of the Bulls as a youth player, was voted as a starter for the Western Conference for the 2004 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star game by fans, media, players, coaches and general managers. He is tied for the MLS lead in scoring with 10 goals.

He scored in the 43rd minute but the Western Conference fell to the Eastern Conference, 3-2, at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.

Ching, a Kamehameha Schools graduate, teamed with Earthquakes teammates Landon Donovan and Richard Mulrooney for the West's first goal yesterday.

Ching actually helped start the play as he worked a combination play with Donovan. Donovan then passed to Mulrooney, who was streaking down the right side of the field. Mulrooney crossed the ball into the 6-yard box, where Ching headed it past the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Henry Ring into the middle of the goal.

"It just happened that way, we had four (Earthquakes) on the field, chances are a couple of guys were going to be involved in a goal," Ching said. Five Earthquakes were selected as starters for the game.

Ching also had two good chances within a minute of each other early in the game.

In the 11th minute, he headed a ball over the goal off a cross from Dallas midfielder Ronnie O'Brien.

"I tried to curl it to the far post but I got under it a little," he said.

In the 12th minute, he missed a shot wide right on a ball from Los Angeles midfielder Andreas Herzog.

"I tried to redirect it in, but, unfortunately, I missed," Ching said. "I was happy with my opportunities, but I think I should have put one away."

Ching started the game but did not start the second half, and re-entered in the 74th minute.

Eastern Conference midfielder Amado Guevara of the Metrostars was named the game's MVP after scoring two goals. Alecko Eskandarian added a goal.

Jason Kreis also scored for the West in a game where temperatures reached 100 degrees.

"It was probably one of the hottest games I've ever played in, that probably attributed to the low score," Ching said. The previous two all-star games averaged five goals per team.

Reach Leila Wai at lwai@honoluluadvertiser.com or 535-2457.