The National Soccer Hall of Fame announced Wednesday the official voting ballot for the 2017 induction class. Among the players added to the list for their first year of eligibility is Spokane legend Brian Ching, who was a standout player for Gonzaga University and the Spokane Shadow.
While playing for the Shadow in the Premier Development League, The Hawaiian was among the league's leading goal scorers and was named the PDL Rookie of the Year in 1998. The following season he suffered a terrible facial fracture in an early-season friendly and was sidelined for the rest of the season, missing the team's PDL championship game appearance.
During his college career at GU, he was named All-WCC First Team on two occasions and Second Team once. Ching finished his Gonzaga career with 34 goals, which still ties him third on the all-time GU list. His 23 assists are a Gonzaga career record.
In order to be eligible for election as a Player, an individual must be retired for at least three full calendar years, but for no more than 10 full calendar years, and have either: 1) Played in at least 20 full international games for the U.S.; if played prior to 1990, the game requirement is reduced to 10 games, or 2) Played at least five seasons in an American first-division professional league and named to a postseason league All-Star team at least once.
The voting pool includes all past and present full Men's and Women's National Team coaches, all active MLS and NWSL head coaches with a minimum of four years of experience as a head coach at the highest level in the United States, MLS and NWSL management representatives, the MLS and NWSL Commissioners/Executive Director, U.S. Soccer CEO/Secretary General, U.S. Soccer President, designated media members and all Hall of Famers.
Each voter can select up to 10 candidates per ballot. Any player appearing on at least 66.7 percent of ballots will earn election, while any player who does not appear on at least five percent of ballots will be removed from voting contention until they qualify for the Veteran ballot.
A forward who scored 90 goals in MLS and 11 for the U.S. national team. Ching played 12 MLS seasons between 2001 and 2013 for Los Angeles, San Jose and Houston, winning an MLS title in 2006 with
Houston and being chosen to the MLS postseason Best XI in 2004. His MLS goals included 82 in regular-season play and eight in the playoffs. He played 45 full internationals for the United States between 2003 and 2010, including 17 World Cup qualifiers in 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2009, and was a member of the United States team at the 2006 World Cup. His achievements for the United States also included winning a CONCACAF Gold Cup championship in 2007. Ching also played one season in the A-League and was a runner-up for the MLS title in 2011 and 2012 with Houston. He played 229 MLS regular-season games and 26 MLS playoff games.