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Star-Bulletin Sports

Tuesday, February 6, 2001

P R O _ S O C C E R

Ching leaving
Gonzaga, staying
in Galaxy

The former Kamehameha striker
is picked by Los Angeles in
the second round of the
MLS SuperDraft

By Al Chase

Gonzaga University's Brian Ching was not all that nervous prior to yesterday's Major League Soccer SuperDraft.

Now he's anxious to get on the practice field and prove he's worthy of a second-round pick.

The Los Angeles Galaxy selected Ching 16th overall in the second round yesterday. He was the third consecutive striker taken by the Galaxy.

Cobi Jones has yet to resign with the MLS and Galaxy head coach Sigi Schmid has to be prepared if Jones decides to go overseas.

Ching said he hasn't played with a team the past three weeks, the reason he is eager to get on the practice field.

Brian Ching

"The thought of playing pro ball really
occurred to me my junior year after
practicing with the Galaxy."

"I'll go in there and play my game and do the best I can. Hopefully I'll become a starter up front," Ching said. "If not there, then anywhere on the field. I'll just adapt and go from there."

He believes he could play a midfield position, although he was a striker during his four seasons for the Bulldogs.

"I did play some outside midfield last summer when I worked out with the Galaxy for three weeks," Ching said.

"The most unknown guy in the draft was Brian Ching," Schmid said. "But he is a player who played at a small college and could become the 'John Stockton' of the MLS."

Stockton is a 1984 Gonzaga graduate who has played 16 seasons in the NBA with the Utah Jazz.

Twice an all-Interscholastic League of Honolulu team member, Ching was the ILH Most Valuable Player during his senior year at Kamehameha.

In 1997 he was the United Soccer Premier League Rookie of the Year playing for the Spokane (Wash.) Shadow. He redshirted in 1998 after as injury to the meniscus in his right knee.

Ching returned to earn all-West Coast Conference first-team honors his final two seasons at Gonzaga.

"The thought of playing pro ball really occurred to me my junior year after practicing with the Galaxy," Ching said. "It was then I realized I had the potential. I've always wanted to go as far as I could."

Ching expects 25 to 30 players in the Galaxy camp. The MLS roster limit is 18 players per match, but those players can change weekly.

Ching wants to show he belongs in the Galaxy's player pool that Schmid draws on each week.

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