Dynamo captain Brian Ching was formally named to the 30-man provisional roster for the U.S. national team’s World Cup squad Tuesday afternoon, along with former Dynamo teammates Stuart Holden and Ricardo Clark. For Ching, the opportunity to represent his country in the World Cup is a dream come true.
“It’s something I’ve been working [on] for the past four years,” noted Ching. “To get a chance to get to go to the World Cup is every soccer player’s dream. I’m definitely excited about it.”
A month ago, that dream took a particularly dark turn when Ching suffered an injury that could have easily derailed his World Cup ambition. As a result, today’s announcement offered a sense of relief and reward for the hard work Ching put in during rehab.
“It’s been a little stressful, I’m not going to lie,” said Ching. “Being injured and having that injury at that time is just bad timing. The past few weeks, it’s something that I’ve been thinking about quite a bit. I’m just happy that I’m fit now. I’m healthy. I’m ready to go.”
Ching made the 2006 World Cup team, but U.S. manager Bruce Arena opted not to use the Dynamo forward. As a result, Ching has made it a goal of his to get back to the World Cup and contribute on the field.
“It’s something that I never really dreamed about as a kid, because I never really thought it was a possibility,” noted Ching. “When I got there [in 2006], it was probably one of the proudest moments of my life.”
“Even though I didn’t get on the field, just being there, being part of the team, and being part of the atmosphere was something that I’ll never forget,” continued the Dynamo forward. “It left a sour taste in my mouth, not getting on the field the first time. I think I’ve positioned myself well over the past four years. I have a great opportunity now to hopefully make an impact this time around.”
To make an impact on the field at the World Cup, though, Ching - scorer of 11 goals in 44 appearances for the national team - will first have to secure a spot on the final 23-player roster that will travel to South Africa.
“I’m on the 30-man roster, [but] I still have to make the 23-man [roster],” said Ching. “It’s going to be really tough. I am competing against some of the best players in the country, and I’m just getting back to being 100 percent fit. A lot of my game has to do with working hard, and if I am not 100-percent game fit, I am not on top of my game.”
Ching’s Dynamo teammates were happy for him as well, despite narrowly missing the squad themselves in some cases. Midfielder Brad Davis was well aware he was a long shot, despite an impressive performance against Honduras in January, as he suffered an injury in February against El Salvador.
"My goal is still to play in the World Cup,” said Davis. “Injuries happen, and it was definitely disappointing when it happened. I can honestly say I gave it everything. I changed a lot of things, and I worked my butt off for the opportunity, and I am not going to be disappointed in myself. Disappointed in the situation? Absolutely."
Davis, though, was happy for his Dynamo teammate and echoed the thoughts of Houstonians and Dynamo fans everywhere.
“That is what you dream about growing up wanting to do,” Davis said. “I wish him the best of luck.”
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.