Photo by ISIphotos.com
BY DYLAN BUTLER
Panama has 11 players who competed against the United States in the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup at Gillette Stadium. The U.S. has just one.
Brian Ching came on as a late sub, helping hold off a Panamanian squad that cut its halftime deficit in half and gave the Americans all they could handle in a difficult final 10 minutes despite being reduced to 10 men.
“It was an extremely difficult game for us,” Ching said after the final U.S. practice ahead of Saturday night’s quarterfinal clash at Lincoln Financial Field. “Panama came out and played physical, they’re very athletic and they made it difficult for us in ’07. I expect them to come out and do the same thing this year.”
The U.S. is the heavy favorite and for good reason. They are the two-time defending Gold Cup champions, have a 56-game unbeaten streak at home against CONCACAF opponents and have never lost to Panama.
But Panama will be highly motivate when they step on the field Saturday night and they have already proven with a feisty 1-1 draw against Mexico in the group stage that they are a difficult team to defeat.
That was proven in the 2007 quarterfinal and the 2005 final, which was won by the U.S. on penalty kicks.
“They have a fighting mentality. That’s helped them,” Ching said. “They’ve gotten good results, especially against Mexico in a game that maybe they feel they were a little cheated. They’re going to come into this game with a bit of a chip on their shoulder and intensity. It will be our job to come out and match that intensity, move the ball around and play well.”
One thing Ching won’t be doing on Saturday is tweeting about the officiating. On Thursday, the Houston Dynamo forward was fined $500 by Major League Soccer for an entry on his Twitter account, claiming referee Mark Geiger “cheated” during the Dynamo-Sounders FC match.
Ching said he didn’t plan on retiring his Twitter and wasn’t going to claim a U.S. teammate, say Brad Evans of Seattle, hijacked his account.
“I think I’ll just be a little bit smarter about what I put on there,” Ching said. “I take responsibility for it. I said it and I issued a retraction a day later because I knew it was wrong.”
I’m not a much of a Ching fan – but the guy makes a positive impact on the team when he plays. Brian Ching is to the Nats as Emile Heskey is to England. The guy plays a role – and he’s useful to the squad.
He tracks backs and forces quicker played balls defensively, he’s the only true back to the goal hold the ball target forward on the squad. He will provide flexibility for Landon, Dempsey, Jozy and Davies to run off of him. I think that’s important and he’s an important player to the US Pool.
Certainly I wish he was more threatening to the goal. But he shouldn’t be panned for what he brings to the squad. He deserves his place.
People remember Benny’s wonder strike in the ’07 Gold Cup…
…but don’t remember that we were down 1-0, and it was Ching’s battling to earn a PK, that put Benny in a position to hit a winner later in the game.
Right you are Jimmy G. Ching does an amazing job of making things happen up top. It aint always pretty but its always there.
Ching sitnks on the nats — a few garbage goals doesn’t men much to me. Cooper has much more upside, let’s give this guy a chance. Posted by: Gary | July 18, 2009 at 10:10 AM
Research Ching’s goal scoring record for the USMNT. Of his 10 goals only two are in friendlies the rest are in games that count. The US won 8 of those games and 2 were draws. Those “garbage” goals don’t count with you because you aren’t on the team but his teamates won’t say the same thing.
Cooper is not in competition with Ching. It’s obvious that Bradley would like a McBride replacement but that hasn’t stopped him from playing Jozy and Davies together, neither of whom remotely resemble McBride, at least yet.
Cooper’s main competitor for playing time is Jozy not Ching or Davies. Both of those guys would provide opportunites in different ways for Cooper to score. Unfortunately for him, Jozy needs lots of work and since he is a definite for 2010, he gets priority.
Unless Copper suddenly explodes and Jozy is either hurt or plays poorly this upcoming season, Cooper will have a hard team getting to South Africa because they will only take three (Jozy, Davies, Ching)or maybe even two forwards. Donovan, and Dempsey’s versatility allow this to happen. And if the versatile Holden gets better he also threatens Cooper’s chances.
Gary. Seriously! Cooper has done NOTHING with his opportunities. Let me guess, you still think Adu is the future of the team too. Ching is a set up man and a worker. He has delivered several solid performances for the MNT. I think its time to stop crowning people on potential and start respecting results. I’d rather see more buzz for Holden and Rogers who are getting results than for these “but they could be great” guys.
Thank God Adu and Parkhurst won’t be there!
Ching sitnks on the nats — a few garbage goals doesn’t men much to me.
Cooper has much more upside, let’s give this guy a chance.
The spine of this team is still very strong:
If the players on the outside (Evans, Pearce, Quaranta) can produce, we can get a result.
Of course he does, he’s awful.
No praying needed Keith G. just passionate and tough football by the USA!
I am just praying the team gets past Panama, then Bradley better bring in the rest of his extras, so we can win this tournement. This will deffently be a close game, and if we do happen to go behind I just hope this team has what it takes to step it up and get back and win the match.
LETS GO USA!!!
I don’t think Jozy and Davies have locked down anything. They are going to have to continue to play well in the run up to the WC or Bradley will go with more experienced guys like Ching.
Ching and Davies are different types of forwards. Ching and Cooper are similar, but please, Ching is so much more valuable to the team than Cooper. If McBride doesn’t come back for the world cup then Ching will be there. That’s my opinion.
Mexico has had a way easier road, or should have, to get to this point and has an easier road to the final. I hope they lose because of this but they won’t. US will have a tough time without the guys that left.
Well personally I’m not a fan of Cooper with the Nats, RSLFANINCALIFORNIA, at least not the full team. Davies isn’t a starter quite yet because he doesn’t really hold posession like Ching does.
i’m not taking anything for granted for the remaining games. we could easily go home tomorrow. and mexico? that would be quite a test w/ this sqad
Ching isn’t a shoe in for anything… I think Jozy & Davies have locked down the World Cup starter spots with guys like Ching, Cooper, Donovan, Dempsey (Most productive in the confed cup as a striker) and all the other boys…I’m personally not a big fan of Ching with the NATS
Scott, Ching stays in the lineup because we’re trying to win the tournament, not just look at players.
Scott, to add to Tim’s point, we also want to get Chingy fit for Qualifying. He’s yet to go a full ninety yet this tournament and I doubt he will until he feels absolutely match fit.
To FURTHER add to that, We want a player who can win a game for us and has been there before. The more games we can win, the more time we have to test some of these young players like Holden and Rogers.
Ching will most definately be on the 2010 roster barring injury, Scott. No other MLS player (thats all we have left in the GC) is going to develop in the remaining 3 + 3 months of MLS games before the WC.
I’d rather have Ching playing for the Dynamo tomorrow than the national team. Bob Bradley is using this tournament to experiment with players, but we seem to know all that we need to about Ching already. And, since the other forwards that are most likely to make the roster for South Africa 2010 are in Europe, we’re not going to learn anything about who pairs well with Ching.
Please.. the US will romp.
Good luck USA. Those canaleros won’t go down easy! Watch out for Blas Perez and big Felipe Baloy.