Al Chase

Just For Kicks

By Al Chase

Released by Galaxy,
Ching joins Sounders

BRIAN Ching never missed a beat as an active soccer player after being released by the Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy this spring. He immediately was contacted by the Portland Timbers and the Seattle Sounders of the A-League.

"Seattle ended up offering me the best deal. I also have more opportunities and friends off the field in Seattle," Ching said.

He continued training with the Galaxy until joining the Sounders for preseason matches in early April.

"I was a casualty of the league (MLS) contracting, although my play was dramatically improving again. The coaches in LA told me that they would keep an eye on me and the if I had a good year there would be a strong possibility of bringing me back to the MLS," said Ching.

The move to the A-league is beneficial, allowing Ching to play regularly and get much needed experience, something the Galaxy coaches and Ching felt he lacked.

"I am enjoying the city of Seattle and my new teammates. Personally I feel that we will have a very competitive team in this division," said Ching, a Kamehameha and Gonzaga graduate, who was the first Hawaii player drafted by an MLS team last year.

It will be a reunion of sorts as former Gonzaga teammates, senior defenders Zach Scott and Danny Huet, have signed with the Sounders. Scott, from Haiku, Maui, and Huet led a Bulldog defense that allowed just 13 goals in 15 matches last fall. Both were All-West Conference first-team picks last fall.

Go Big Red

The Cornell Big Red women's soccer team will have a Hawaii presence this fall as coach Berhane Andeberhan has received commitments from Kara Ishikara of Iolani and Michelle Quensell of Punahou.

Ishikawa made recruiting trips to California, Oregon State and Cornell. She would play soccer no matter which school she picked.

"The financial aid package is good which helps my parents. It's an Ivy League school and I wanted the academics," said Ishikara who wants to continue as a center midfielder at the collegiate level.

Quensell missed her junior season with a broken right leg, but returned to play league matches as a senior. The striker also considered Southern California, and Washington.

"It came down to Wellesely and Cornell, said Quensell. "One of my soccer friends is going to Cornell and I thought it would be good to have that support and I got a better financial aid package. They gave me really good money."

Punahou girls' coach Jorge Barbosa said, "Michelle is amazing with the ball on her feet. She scored an incredible goal in the third-place game in the state tournament."

Quensell, who wasn't in top shape for league play, will work to rectify that problem during the summer.

Tiffany Todo, a striker for Iolani and a defender for the Honolulu Bulls S.C., also considered heading East to either New York University or Washington University in St. Louis, but signed with UC Davis.

"UC Davis has a design program which is what I want to study," said Todo who has been awarded an academic scholarship.

Although she was a striker for Iolani this past Interscholastic League of Honolulu season, she prefers playing defense.

Al Chase has been covering sports in Hawaii
since 1968. From the local ranks to the World Cup,
Al Chase will help keep you up to date on futbol.
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