USA Youth Soccer

Wednesday Kickoff: Ching set to miss 4-6 weeks, Reyna takes USSF gig and more

Brian Ching (ISIphotos.com)

Photo by ISIphotos.com

When Brian Ching went down clutching his hamstring during the Houston Dynamo's match vs. Real Salt Lake last week, it was pretty clear the veteran striker had just suffered a serious injury. Now we know just how serious.

Ching is set to miss four-to-six weeks with a strained left hamstring, Dynamo officials revealed on Tuesday. The timetable would have Ching back in early-to-mid May, which could see him back in time for the U.S. national team's pre-World Cup training camp.

The injury could hurt Ching's chances of making the U.S. World Cup squad if he has any delays in his recovery. That said, U.S. head coach Bob Bradley knows what Ching can bring to the team as arguably the best target forward option in the pool. Ching's latest injury could start to increase concerns about the 31-year-old striker's ability to stay healthy heading into the World Cup.

Ching had been considered a good candidate to make the U.S. World Cup team, but his most recent injury could open the door for Conor Casey to gain ground on him in the race for a roster spot.

Here are some other stories,including stories on Claudio Reyna, Euan Holden, MLS player moves and CONCACAF Champions League, to get your Wednesday going:


Former U.S. national team captain and World Cup veteran Claudio Reyna enjoyed a stellar career for the United States as well as several European clubs and he will now look to pass on some of the wisdom he acquired as U.S. Soccer's new Youth Technical Director.

Reyna, who recently secured his A coaching license, will be introduced in his new role today.

While details of his new role have yet to be revealed, Reyna is expected to work closely with the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.


While Stuart Holden is expected to play a role on the U.S. World Cup team this summer, his brother is hoping for another national team to come calling.

Euan Holden, younger brother of Stuart, has made public his hopes of earning a call up by the Scottish National team. A left back currently playing for Danish club Vejle, Holden told the Daily Record of Scotland that he's ready for a Scotland call if one comes.

"I've lived in America a long time and I'm probably more American than I realise," Holden said. "But I still regard Scotland as my home. If someone asks me where I'm from I say Scotland."

Holden's comments came after Scotland national team manager Craig Leavin recently stated that he would scour the globe in search of players eligible to play for Scotland.


Chivas USA announced the acquisition of Costa Rican defender Dario Delgado, who will join the Rojiblancos on loan from Puntarenas.

Toronto FC captain Jim Brennan is set to announce his retirement today, and is reportedly joining TFC's front office as assistant general manager.


Cruz Azul thrashed UNAM Pumas, 5-0, in the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal series, on Tuesday night. The win gave Cruz Azul a 5-1 aggregate series victory and berth in the Champions League Final.

Cruz Azul will face the winner of the Pachuca-Toluca semifinal series. Pachuca will host tonight's second leg having tied in the first leg, 1-1. If Pachuca advances, it would set up a Champions League Final against former head coach Enrique Meza, now in charge at Cruz Azul.


What do you think of these developments? Think Ching can still make the World Cup team? Happy to hear that Reyna will be taking on an important role in youth development? Hoping Euan Holden winds up joining his brother on the U.S. national team?

Share your thoughts below.

  • carlos

    i honestly think he didnt suffer a injury in that 06 lost to ghana, he realized how big of a fk up he did so he decided to lay down there to take some of the blame


  • Haig

    Reyna’s short stint in MLS was not representive of his accomplishments and leadership for over a decade for the USA and abroad.

    He was, until the last couple years of his career, the most skilled player we had, with a great understanding of tactics and a lot of on field intelligence.

    I won’t praise him for the Ghana game (though he was hurt on the critical play, and in my opinion fouled as well). And he didn’t cover himself in glory for NY: he was too proud to give up even after it was clear that he wasn’t still healthy enough to help the team. But that’s the nature of a competitive professional athlete.

    As for the “back pass” stuff: even at our best, the USA is not a team that manages the game well. We let our opponents dictate the pace of play. Against Spain, we had an excellent strategy, but they played into our few strenghts. I don’t think Reyna should have been an automatic starter for games that we needed to rely on fast counterattacks to win, but against equal or lesser opposition, he was essential to our ability to control the game. You can’t play every game on the counterattack, and you can’t expect to win if the only way you can score is on breakaways. Reyna had the skill set and nous to allow us significantly more possession than our other players could manage, and the leadership and intelligence to bring a calming influence to games.

    He’s an absolute natural for coaching, and will be a huge influence on the next generation of young American players.

    Anyone with a good understanding of the big picture would be delighted to see him join the US development and coaching set-up.


  • Aaron in StL

    Agreed. I still feel the same with Ching however. Sure, Ching is a hard worker but I can’t see him in a WC match. If that point comes, it means we’re screwed or out of contention to advance.

    I think Jozy has really improved in the target forward/hold up role with HC. And let’s be honest, if we’re ever to the point where we have to consider using alternate forward options, Ching and Casey are never going to be preferred options compared to some of the ‘tweeners’ on the roster that can get forward.


  • William the Terror

    I would pick Califf over Conrad, too. Last time I checked, Califf was not the one who piked up a stupid red card early in the game against Honduras, thus rendering said game useless to BB in the evaluation of potential second-tier players.


  • Fred

    I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one. For a 4-5-1 to work, you need an extremely technically gifted midfield. No offense to our players, but we definitely don’t have that. Maybe Dempsey and Donovan could do that, and possibly Bradley, but I don’t think any other USMNT player could be even in the realm of possibility for that. Second, you need a midfield that are very, very familiar with each other. Of course we don’t have that, and I don’t think you can blame BB for that. It’s the nature of the USMNT — all of our best players play in various leagues throughout Europe, they learn different styles in different leagues, and they have very limited amounts of time together.

    Finally, you need a very strong target forward who can hold the ball, distribute, draw fouls, stretch the defense, and score. No offense to Jozy, who is looking better and better as time passes, but he’s not nearly there yet.

    You mention Ireland — I think that’s a great example. Ireland’s team pretty much all play in the EPL, so they all learn a somewhat similar style and have lots of contact with each other. Also, they play a few humdred miles from their home country, instead of six thousand miles away, which means they have more opportunities to get together. Finally, they are anything but mediocre on paper — the playoff squad against France featured Shay Given, John O’Shea, Richard Dunne, Robbie Keane, and Damien Duff! . . . Stephen Hunt, who would be one of the strongest players on the USMNT, didn’t even make it off the bench.

    Wow. That was definitely my longest post ever. Too much coffee today?


  • montana matt

    Call me crazy, but I think we should bring Hoyos to the WC if Ching can’t go. I realize he hasn’t been getting much in the way of minutes lately, and I’ve only watched him play in one match, but he is an exciting prospect. I doubt he’d even see the pitch, but i’m all for a call up similar to Walcott’s in ’06 for England. Hoyos really can’t be worse than any of our other forward alternatives, and the upside of bringing him in is potentially huge.


  • Stephen

    Ives: is there any truth that the USSF was actually trying to convince Claudio to coach the boys U-14 national team? Heard that CR turned it down due to family reasaons – i.e. CR started the New York Soccer Club up here in Westchester County about a year ago, in which he coaches his son’s U-11 team; 4 young children; his foundation which he started recently, etc. Seems like they may be looking at him as a potential NT coach in the future? What do you think?


  • dbag

    Euan may not be that big of a deal. Heath pearce is slowly regaining that form that had Ajax and Dortmund after him. Plus I am really banking on Tyler Polak of the U-20 team. Very good looking left back and heard he had trials or something in Germany.


  • JJ's shin

    If Davies is healthy then I say start Davies and Demps up top then bring on Jozy for the last 20-30 minutes. Davies probably won’t be fit enough by June to play the full 90 and Jozy always gives out around the 70th minute anyway so just bring him on as a super sub to run at tired defenders.


  • jp992751

    yeah then he can teach the team to dive…stay down in your own third without a hope of a call…and not even pay attention to the other team scoring a goal.

    I guess that is a bit harsh but it was the last memory I have of Reyna.


  • JSmiley

    You mean the game against Ghana, when he sprained his MCL? You call that a dive? Yeah, I’d say that’s harsh.

    Better memory: making the World Cup ’02 Best XI.


  • RLW2020

    ya that is how i read into it. Player with dual nationality is driving up the bidding for his services; putting pressure on the US and Scotland to call him up first. hopefully he makes the right choice and realize which nation developed him as a soccer player.


  • Alexandria

    Stephen hunt? All he does is run, he can’t cross the ball, hell we all ready have heydude for that.


  • TC

    dudeinho, you either have no memory before 2006 or you’ve never been to a USMNT game. Reyna was the personality of he US team from 1995 – 2006. He was the guy where all players looked to for field direction. Greatest USA player ever (to date). He has a wealth of knowlege and is a great choice for Technical Director.


  • TC

    It’s very common for former players to begin their coaching careers as a youth coach/technical director for their respective clubs or country. Most start as a club coach. Our coaching pedigree is pretty slim, so I see no reason a person with his coaching experience (next to none)should be passed over for a recycled coach from here or another country. I think Reyna is a great choice for Youth Technical Director.


  • usa

    Agreed. 4-5-1 won’t work. We did it for who know’s how long, with just Ching as the target man. Jozy is certainly an upgrade, but not nearly good enough to break through defenses on his own. Plus what to we gain in the midfield by eliminating a forward, Feilhaber? Holden? Clark/Edu. Those guys aren’t worth taking a forward outta the formation. The only one who I would entertain as being worth that gamble is Torres, but BB won’t do it, and I still think it will only hurt us too much offensively.


  • OxfordMike

    While I would say that Renya is definitely qualified for the position, I doubt he will have much of an impact. To truly develop youth players it has to start with us (those over college-age) who need to encourage our kids to play freely, take risks, and emphasize technical ability over just purely AYSO boom ball/ athletic ability (40 time, etc.). There is such a lack of creativty in the US game it is sickening to watch MLS sometimes, especially when teams w/out foreign attacking players. Stop the every weekend tournaments and lets develop our players through practice and maximum anount of touches.


  • JRidge

    Enjoy watching your brother play in multiple World Cups. Hell, maybe he can get you some freebie tickets, seeing as how that’s the only way your going if you play for Scotland…


  • Retro

    I have to agree with Josh. The 4-5-1 is the best system for this personnel. The Nats does not have the personnel for the 4-3-3, nor the 4-4-2; Those styles require dynamic inside mids. Unfortunately, US soccer has yet to identify/develop those types of players.


  • Retro

    The people that run the program lack imagination. They wait until the kids that have dual citizenship develop before they make overtures. Consequently, we end up losing out on some great players.


  • Sean

    I told my brother about this Reyna news. He asked if he got injured already…

    Haha. Well, if Reyna can stay healthy, I think this will be a good thing for the USSF.


  • Jay

    Granted it seemed like Reyna treated his MLS career as an early retirement, but considering the player he was at his peak for the USMNT, if that translates into the front office I’m all for it.


  • Illmatic74

    What are you talking about? Subotic played for USA in the under 17 World Cup, Rossi was invited to World Cup training camp as a teenager and Hoyos has been already receiving invites to play for the U-20 team.


  • jmadsen

    he’s playing for a tiny little Danish side in their 2nd division. He’s young enough to be a “who knows”, but it’s not like he wasn’t one anyone’s radar and slipped through.

    He’ll probably end up being a solid journeyman player with a decent career, like so many others.


  • JoshA

    Reyna played for 12 years (1994-2006).

    He had 282 club games and 112 US games for a total of 394 games. That’s an average of about 33 games per year.

    He was hurt a lot towards the end but in the greater scheme of things Reyna was hardly a “brittle” player.


  • Josh C

    The US did that before in the early part of 2009. In fact the crap losses to Italy and Brazil had Jozy alone up top.

    Yes, the red cards didn’t help but don’t act like you know more about it than Bradley does.


  • 157299pj

    The last memory I have of McBride is his statue impersonation in the Olympics. That doesn’t mean he wan’t a great forward.


  • ohniedud

    You’re right Reyna is 5’9″ Keller is 6’2″.

    Keller is definitely bigger.


  • Retro

    That’s the problem in our system, we hesitate to play our youngster on the senior team. We are a country of immigrants that is slowly developing as a soccer nation. Most of our better players have the option to play for other countries. So why don’t we cap them early instead of waiting for them to blow-u? Do you remember how old Pele was when he played for Brazil? Talent is talent.


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