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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Hale'iwa's Ching chosen MLS player of the week

By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hale'iwa native Brian Ching was selected the Honda Major League Soccer Player of the Week after scoring two goals to lead the San Jose Earthquakes to a 3-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids, ending a five-game winless streak on Saturday.

It was the first career player of the week honor for Ching, who is second in MLS in scoring with nine goals.

"I guess it's pretty exciting, but looking at seeing how our team performed, I'm more excited about the way our team played Saturday," Ching said. "Sitting at the bottom (of the standings), I think we're better than that, and I think Saturday we went out to prove that."

It has been a good month for Ching, the 1996 Interscholastic League of Honolulu Player of the Year for Kamehameha.

One of his goals was nominated for the Sierra Mist MLS Goal of the Week on MLSnet.com.

Earlier this month he was selected as a starter for the Western Conference team in the Sierra Mist MLS All-Star game on July 31. The game is at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., and will be broadcast live at 8 a.m. (HST) on ABC (KITV-4, Cable 6).

"I'm at that point where I was last year and I'm slowly getting better and better every game," said Ching, 26, who suffered a season-ending injury when he ruptured his right Achilles' tendon last August.

"I just think it took me a little while to get where I was last year," he said. "I'm kind of there now and I feel like I'm a lot more confident now and I'm reading the game better."

Ching, the first player of Hawaiian ancestry in MLS, also earned his second international appearance with the U.S. National team as a substitute July 11 against Poland.

"Definitely, getting called in helped my confidence," he said. "On the same token I felt like I was playing fairly well before I got called up, so I think it's like a progression."

The Honda MLS Player of the Week is selected every week during the MLS regular season by a panel of journalists from the Professional Soccer Reporters Association.

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