CARSON, Calif. -- It's been a tough road for Dynamo striker Brian Ching. In the past two weeks he's experienced heartbreak, and before that, injury setback after setback. And this Saturday's 4-1 defeat for his Houston Dynamo at the hands of the Los Angeles Galaxy only made things worse for the Hawaiian.
On May 25th, United States national team head coach Bob Bradley announced the 23-man roster for the USA in the World Cup tournament in South Africa; Ching was not on the list.
"He's a very good player," said Galaxy coach Bruce Arena, who picked Ching for the 2006 World Cup, but never played him a minute. "I wish for [his] sake he was in South Africa."
However, the Los Angeles audience wasn't as inclined to praise Ching as their team's coach.
A third of the way into the match, the Los Angeles faithful began chanting, "U.S. reject!" repeatedly in front of Ching, and later, the chants began again in the second half.
Ching admitted this and other unfavorable comments did in fact affect his psyche.
"It affects you a little bit," said Ching after the game. "But that's the nature of the game."
The striker was once a Galaxy player, back in his early days with Major League Soccer, but he really came into his own as a player for the San Jose Earthquakes and later the Houston Dynamo, two fierce club rivals of Los Angeles.
"There's always people that are out there, try to put you down," Ching observed. "It's part of being a professional athlete -- not everybody likes you."
As the LA crowd continued to press on with the insults, all that entered Ching's mind was that the crowd needed to glance in a mirror.
"I was just thinking that I got farther than every single one of them chanting," said the winner of multiple MLS Cup titles. "So, if they want to try to mock me about it, look at themselves first."
When asked about his thoughts about the national team, Ching, almost in tears, said, "No comment."
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