May 2, 2006
BRISTOL, Conn. - Former Gonzaga University men's soccer standout Brian Ching was named to the U.S. World Cup roster Tuesday.
Ching, a native of Haleiwa, Hawai'i, becomes the first Hawaiian to play in the World Cup. A 2001 graduate of Gonzaga, he was a two-time All-West Coast Conference first-team selection. His 34 career goals rank third all-time at Gonzaga, his 23 assists rank first and his 91 career points tie for second. He helped guide the Bulldogs to back-to-back WCC regular-season co-titles in 1998-99 and to a second-place finish in 2000.
He was selected in the 2001 Major League Soccer Super Draft by the Los Angeles Galaxy, the first Hawaiian player taken in the MLS Draft. Ching joined the San Jose Earthquakes in 2003, and also earned his first cap for the U.S. National team during a friendly competition against Wales.San Jose's franchise moved to Houston, Texas, for the current season, Ching scoring four goals in an early-season game for the Dynamo.
U.S. national team manager Bruce Arena's roster is headed by national team stalwarts Kasey Keller and Claudio Reyna. Both were named to their fourth FIFA World Cup roster.
The roster comprises 12 players that are based overseas, with the remaining 11 currently playing in MLS. Of the players named to the roster, only three have never played in MLS (Steve Cherundolo, Keller and Oguchi Onyewu).
The biggest gamble by Arena appears to be in his selection of Chivas USA midfielder John O'Brien. O'Brien made the team despite a rash of injuries since his standout performance in the 2002 World Cup.On his return to MLS, O'Brien has yet to play regularly for Chivas USA after rehabilitating a groin injury and recently sustained a strained left calf.
The U.S. men's national team's three-game Send-Off Series prior to the 2006 FIFA World Cup will begin at The Coliseum in Nashville, Tenn., on May 23, before continuing to Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, on May 26, and concluding at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., on May 28.
The three U.S. opponents will be Morocco, Venezuela and Latvia, respectively, with all three matches kicking off at 7 p.m. ET live on ESPN2 and ussoccer.com's MatchTracker.
The U.S. was drawn into Group E for the 2006 FIFA World Cup along with the Czech Republic, Italy and Ghana. The U.S. plays its opening match against the Czechs on June 12 in Gelsenkirchen before meeting Italy in Kaiserslautern on June 17 and then finishing off group play against Ghana on June 22 in Nuremberg.
Goalkeepers - Marcus Hahnemann, Tim Howard, Kasey Keller.
Defenders - Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo, Jimmy Conrad, Cory Gibbs, Frankie Hejduk, Eddie Lewis, Oguchi Onyewu, Eddie Pope.
Midfielders - DaMarcus Beasley, Bobby Convey, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Pablo Mastroeni, John O'Brien, Ben Olsen, Claudio Reyna.Forwards - Brian Ching, Eddie Johnson, Brian McBride, Josh Wolff.