Quakes success depends on Ching

well done, well deserved."

The only Hawaiian player in MLS, Ching is blazing a trail for a state that is traditionally overlooked as a soccer hotbed. But increasing talent at the youth level suggests that changes are afoot.

"Hopefully it shows them that they can do it," says Ching of his success. "I think a lot of those [youth players] are probably further ahead than I was at that point in my career, and they can aspire to be in MLS. There's a lot of potential, and hopefully I'm showing them the way, and showing them that it's attainable."

Charles Boehm is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.