Brian Ching was formally named to the 30-man provisional roster for the U.S. national team’s World Cup squad Tuesday afternoon, giving the Dynamo captain a chance to play in South Africa that some deemed unlikely not so long ago.
“It’s something I’ve been working [on] for the past four years,” Ching said. “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 as Ching suffered a strained hamstring that could have easily derailed his World Cup ambition. As a result, Tuesday’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,” Ching said. “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 made it a goal 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,” Ching said. “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,” Ching added. “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 is well aware that he still has plenty of work to do to make the final 23 player roster.
“It’s going to be really tough," Ching said. "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. Midfielder Brad Davis was well aware he was a long-shot despite an impressive performance in the team’s first game against Honduras as he suffered an injury in the team’s next game.
"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."
Former Dynamo players Stuart Holden (Bolton) and Ricardo Clark (Eintracht) were also selected to the US roster.
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.