HOUSTON – On Wednesday, Brian Ching received some of the worst news of his professional career: He would not be selected to represent the US National Team at the World Cup.
Like the consummate professional he has always been, an obviously emotional Ching put on a brave face, stepped in front of TV cameras and answered media questions regarding his surprise omission from the squad.
“I am extremely disappointed, as I worked very hard to put myself into a good position and that’s all I could have done,” said the Houston Dynamo forward. “I am extremely proud of the way that I played and the effort I gave over four years and my contributions to the team.”
Ching said he was in shock when he got the news and that it didn’t sink in until he had a chat with Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear, who narrowly missed the World Cup himself in 1994.
“When he talked about how he went through a similar thing,” said Ching, “it all kind of caught up with me.”
“I just know the disappointment he went through,” explained Kinnear, who knws better than most what missing out on the World Cup feels like. “I felt bad [for Ching] because I think everyone in the locker room thinks he merited a spot based on what he has done in the past. We’re all disappointed for him.
“Obviously, I am biased because I see Brian every day,” continued Kinnear. “I have a lot of respect for coach [Bob] Bradley and what he’s done with the National Team, [but] I thought [Ching] could have been on that roster and I was surprised when I saw the list come out.”
Ching was given the option to stay at home instead of attending practice, but for the Dynamo forward, the decision to be with his teammates and get back on the field was an easy one.
“To sit at home with this weighing on my mind would have been difficult, so the best thing for me to do was to come in and have a good time with the guys,” said Ching. “It is definitely the best medicine.
“The guys didn’t know how to approach me at first, but once we got that out of the way, it was business as usual. Being around the guys today really helped lift my spirits,” added Ching, who can’t wait to get back on the field for Houston.
“In a couple of week’s time, I’ll be OK. I wish the [National Team] well. I wish I could be there with them, but I wish them all the best.”
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to email@example.com.