MLS Cup: Galaxy wary of Ching threat

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By ADAM SERRANO

CARSON,Calif.–The Houston Dynamo may be without their MVP candidate, but the Los Angeles Galaxy are keenly aware that the Dynamo will still have another key weapon in their attack.

Dynamo captain Brian Ching has enjoyed a stellar season since battling back from injuries that limited him to just 20 regular season games. The veteran forward provided five goals this season and has continued to produce during the playoffs, tallying a goal and an assist. 

Although Ching and the Dynamo will be without their midfield stalwart Brad Davis, the Galaxy are wary of Ching's contributions to the Houston offense. 

"Brian is the heart and soul of that team," said Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant, who was Ching's teammate with San Jose."I don't care what he says, I don't think that he's lost a step in terms of getting the box and getting on the end of service. That's what they're good at is getting on the end of service and we've got to watch out for that. "

Where the veteran is particularly effective is on set pieces where Ching leads Houston's contingent of towering targets. The 6-foot-1 Ching is joined by 6-foot-3 Geoff Cameron,  6-foot-2 Carlo Costly and 6-foot-2 Bobby Boswell, who make an imposing threat for Los Angeles' slightly smaller backline. During the 2011 season, the Dynamo scored 22 goals from set pieces due to clutch service and clinical finishing.  Houston's task to score on set pieces may be a bit more difficult without Davis' cultured left foot, but with the right footed Adam Moffat providing the service, the Dynamo remains a threat.

The play of Davis and the rest of Houston's offensive have revitalized the 33-year-old forward after Ching suffered a heartbreaking 2010 that the Dynamo miss the playoffs and Ching miss out on the World Cup. However, this season, Ching has battled back from injuries to once again show signs of the Ching of old. 

"He's just consistent, you always know what you're getting and if you give him a chance, then he's going to bury it," said Ching's former teammate, Landon Donovan. "He's more talented than people ever give him credit for. He sees the game like elite players see the game and he's had a great year."

On Sunday, Ching will take the field at the Home Depot Center as the Dynamo's leader and the only member of the club to have played in an MLS Cup Final before. Only Ching will understand how badly the veteran will be fighting to earn Houston another MLS Cup, but Donovan, his former teammate for club and country believes that he understands what will be going through Ching's mind come game time. 

"He's a competitor, when we used to play cards on the road and he'd lose, he'd get pissed," said Donovan. "Anything that he does, he wants to compete and win and that really comes out on the field."  

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23 Responses to MLS Cup: Galaxy wary of Ching threat

  1. marco says:

    If Carr can get in behind Franklin who plays very high, Omar gets pulled out, leaving Ching one vs one with AJ. But who will service Ching with Davis out?

  2. jamesey says:

    Brian Ching is from Hawaii

  3. Peretz48 says:

    Wow, I didn’t think anyone knew that.

  4. Mike22 says:

    5 goals in 20 games is a stellar season for a striker?

  5. blag says:

    It was not a stellar season, but Ching did have constant injury issues keeping him from staying in form. Considering that it was a good season. He started in less than half of the seasons games, but after finally having time to get his form back, he has scored 3 in the MLS post season showing that when he is healthy he can still be lethal.

  6. Mario says:

    A healthy Ching is still useful to USA….He was really needed in the last World Cup

  7. Wolf says:

    I think they should push Ashe up to midfield to catch Franklin pushing up. If Ching and Costly are in together, this could be tough for LA. DLG always seems to get it done though….Unsung hero for LA.

  8. blag says:

    Oops messed up those stats. He only scored one, but played in a role of at least 2 (if not 3). Another thing he tends to do is other teams focus on him (and Davis of course), thinking if we shut them down Houston cannot score. Houston has some ridiculous number of people score for the team because attention went to Davis and the forwards (Ching especially when he plays healthy).

  9. 3VIL L33T says:

    is anyone else hoping LA makes ching bleed? Everytime someone make ching bleed his own blood its like a Bruce lee film. He comes back 10x harder. Also he’s admitted that even though the rivalry with Dallas is great, he still brings more to LA match ups due to the san Jose days.

    “no one makes me bleed my own blood”

  10. wildchild says:

    Cap him!

  11. Agreed. I thought Bob made a mistake taking Finley instead of Ching. Ching’s possession and hold-up play … and giving defenses a big person to pay attention to, would have really helped the US.

  12. Brit says:

    Ashe has been more effective this year as a left back on his overlapping runs. When he’s in midfield, he often struggles when running at people with the ball. I feel like putting him up there would just give Beckham the entire wing to do with as he pleases.

  13. DCLEe says:

    Should be a great final!

  14. KungFuSoccer says:

    Will Ching cry on the field again?

  15. Dinho says:

    I’ve played against Chingy (post Gonzaga).

    He is a terror in the box. Treated me like a child, as he was trying to (and did) get on the end of crosses (one of which he scored).

    I agree that the Galaxy need to be weary, regardless of who is providing service (Davis or not). Gonzalez will have his work cut out for him. And if AJ is matched up with Ching….LA will be picking the ball out of the net.

    This final WILL be decided by the execution on set pieces, both offensively and defensively, both for LA and Houston.

  16. hogatroge says:

    Did Chingy serenade you with his classic, “Holidae Inn?”

  17. Dinho says:

    He might as well have. :)

  18. Vince Clortho says:

    Sorry, but this game is LA’s to lose…A greater number of positives in their favor…

  19. Rex says:

    Is the Dynamo team the best aerial team in MLS history? Davis crosses have created a feeding frenzy for this Dynamo team. Every set piece every man in orange wants that ball to be his and it shows.

  20. Corey says:

    Is this John Harks?

  21. Donnie says:

    LA can do more than set pieces, they will look to control possession, especially with Brad out. Camargo becomes an important piece in the middle. He has played well lately.

  22. Rod says:

    Yes, Ching has always been class. Thanks Bob

  23. Dinho says:

    Donnie, I don’t disagree, but I still think this game will be decided on set pieces.