Earthquakes re-sign Ching to new contract
The San Jose Earthquakes announced Friday that U.S. national team forward Brian Ching has signed a new contract with Major League Soccer and the Earthquakes. In keeping with club policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed."Brian has been a great player for us the past two seasons," said Quakes head coach Dominic Kinnear. "He is a strong goal scorer and target man and he has been a big part of our success since he has been here. We are excited to have a player of his quality signed for the long term." The Quakes selected Ching, a top contender for MLS Honda MVP and Comeback Player of the Year, first overall in the 2003 MLS Dispersal Draft after making a trade with D.C. United to secure that draft position. In his first season with the Quakes, the former Gonzaga University star burst out of the gate in 2003 with a goal 53 seconds into the Quakes season-opening win over the Colorado Rapids. He went on to score six goals and notch two assists in 15 games and earn his first cap with the U.S. National Team in 2003 before having his season cut short by a ruptured right Achilles tendon on August 16. "I am very happy to re-sign with San Jose," said Ching. "I want to thank Dominic Kinnear and Frank Yallop and my teammates for helping me get to the point where I am now. They are a huge part of my progress and they continue to help me in my development." In 2004, Ching, 26, has been even better as he has been among the leaders in scoring in the league throughout the season, while also earning regular call-ups to the national team. He is currently tied for first in MLS with 11 goals and is tied for fourth in scoring with 26 points. He was also selected to the Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game in late July and scored a goal for the West All-Stars. "Brian Ching has developed into one of the most consistent and productive strikers in MLS," Earthquakes President & General Manager Alexi Lalas said. "We're excited that Brian has committed to this team on a long term basis." With the national team, Ching made his first appearance of the year on July 11 against Poland and then starred in two World Cup Qualifying Games to help send the U.S. to the top of its group. On August 18 against Jamaica, he came on as a sub and scored the tying goal in the 89th minute. That performance earned him a start against El Salvador on September 4 in Foxborough, Mass. and he scored again to help the U.S. secure a 2-0 win. He also started in the United States 1-1 tie against Panama on September 8. Ching, the only Hawaiian in MLS, was the second leading scorer in the A-League in 2002 with 16 goals and eight assists for the Seattle Sounders and was selected to the 2002 A-League All-League Team. The Los Angeles Galaxy originally drafted Ching with the 16th pick in the 2001 MLS SuperDraft. Ching scored a goal and had an assist in eight games with Los Angeles in 2001. Ching finished his career at Gonzaga University with 34 goals, third most in school history.