We’re just putting this interview up there to show you what happens. Interview with The Shin Guardian…win US Soccer’s Man of the Match…that simple.
Mark will be along shortly with the game review.
Quick apology to the TSG community. TSG was attempting to get an audience with Brian Ching in December upon the announcement of Brian’s new charity “The House That Ching Built.”
We even had the title picked out as we wanted to focus on that charity on the turn of the new year, “Resolutions? Brian Ching has a few…”
Alas, due to some hecticness , we’re just rolling out our Brian Ching interview this week. Mind you, the questions were scribed in December so at that time there was less of an MLS focus. We’ll do a follow up at some point; we promise.
That said, Ching answered TSG’s questions much like he plays the game: workmanlike, direct and without pulling punches.
Let’s drop a sampling of them here to whet the appetite as we get started…..
On his physical play: “Sometimes it’s taking hits, sometimes it’s dishing them out.”
On making the World Cup roster: “My mentality is I’m going to fight hard for my spot on the team.”
On being Hawaiian: “We in the islands like to get behind our people.”
On being philanthropic: “I feel it’s a responsibilities of those in positions to give back, for us to give back.”
On target, on point and refreshingly, well, candid.
We started out with some warm-up softballs to the Big Aloha around his Hawaiian roots hoping to get some insider information from the big striker. (Full disclosure, as phone timing didn’t work out, TSG submitted questions that were posed by Ching’s player rep and answered via video.)
TSG: First softie: “What’s the best place to watch the surf in Hawaii: Pipeline, Waimea, Gas Chambers, Log Cabins?”
Brian Ching: I don’t really like to watch the surf, I like to be in it to tell you the truth. Pipeline’s a fun place to watch, the way the wave breaks, the power it has. Waimea been great this year, when the waves get over 25, 30 ft., it gets fun to watch.
TSG: Second softie: “Should UFC fighter B.J. Penn move up a weight class to prove himself?”
Ching: <demurring>: B.J. what can I say he’s the man. Love watching him fight. Great Hawaii boy. We in the islands like to get behind our people… as far as moving up in his weight class, that’s for him to decide what’s best for him. All I do is get behind him and support him. He’s tremendous fighter and I love to watch him.”
TSG: So what do you think about your new nickname (The Big Aloha)?
Ching: It’s kind of funny. Makes me laugh, kind of like it…..do I like it? Yeah, little bit….most people call me Ching….
Ching: I think what inspired me to be philanthropic, is the impact I felt I could have. It’s an opportunity for me to give back because I want to and I enjoy it.
I feel it’s a responsibilities of those in positions to give back, for us to give back. And hopefully by giving back I can inspire other people to give back as well.
TSG: Okay, why did you select Habitat for Humanity?
I got involved with Habitat for Humanity because I really enjoy their philosophy and what they’re trying to do. I think that Habitat makes it cheap and affordable housing for people that are actually trying to work hard….people that deserve a house.
TSG: Being a World Cup year, this is an important time for you. We were surprised not to see you out there on the January roster. How did you spend the off-season getting ready for 2010?
Ching: In January, I opted out of going into camp, personally I felt like I needed another month break to rejuvenate myself both physically and mentally.
By sitting out January, it definitely got me more excited about this year coming. Got me a chance to work on getting faster, getting stronger. I have a good base now. My mentality is I’m going to fight hard for my spot on the team. I’m excited about the opportunity and I’m driven to be on the team.
I’m really excited about the opportunity.
TSG: You were part of the team that came back disappointed from Germany in 2006. How have things changed for the team in 2010 in terms of outlook, preparation and expectations?
Ching: The difference between the 2006 and 2010 is the mentality of the players. I felt like in 2006 guys got a little complacent. They knew they were going to be on the squad. They knew they were going to be playing. I think that lead to a little bit of complacency and guys not playing at their best.
I think Bob’s come in and changed things up….and he’s gotten the guys motivated. We’re all the same page. We know what to expect. We know what we want to do. We know what we want to accomplish. We know how we want to play.
I really think that the team is headed in the right direction. If you look at the success they had in the Confederation’s Cup, the success we had over the qualifying process. I’m really excited about our chances in 2010.
TSG: Okay, last one here…What’s the mindset of a target man up top? How do you prepare yourself for the physical nature of the game? And what are some little tricks you learned along the way to improve your game?
Ching: I don’t think about going into the game being physical. I just think about doing the things that I do. And trying to do the things I do to help the team win.
Every game it’s different. Sometimes it’s taking hits. Sometimes it’s dishing out hits. What I focus on is holding up the ball. Getting in front of the goal when the ball goes wide. And trying to make good runs in the box.
And those are the things I focus on before the game.
Brian Ching, USMNT candidate to make 2006 better than 2010.
A big thanks to The Big Aloha…sorry BC, it’s sticking.
Thanks to killer player rep Clark Haptonstall for again helping out The Shin Guardian.