By Jason Tang
HONOLULU (KHNL) -- In one week, Hawai'i welcomes home one of its own, as soccer star Brian Ching gets ready to compete in the inaugural Pan Pacific Championship!
Almost 12 years have gone by since Brian Ching played a competitive soccer game here in Hawai'i. But next Wednesday the Houston Dynamo forward and 2006 Major League Soccer MVP will make his much anticipated island debut when the Dynamo face Sydney FC in day one of the Pan Pacific Championship.
He's the one and only Native Hawaiian in major league soccer, and 28-year-old Brian Ching will finally return home to play soccer where it all began 21 years ago.
"To get back there has always been a dream of mine since becoming a professional soccer player to play in front of friends and family back home and to finally get that opportunity is extremely exciting," said Ching.
When Ching was only seven, his mother coached him on his very first soccer team. Now, as one of the veterans on the two time defending MLS Champion Dynamo, Ching sees a Hawai'i connection with his teammates.
"I think our team exemplifies the Hawai'i spirit, we're a good bunch of guys that like each other, hang around each other and will do anything for each other."
Something which will help next week against one of the best teams from Australia, but Ching isn't just after a win. He's hoping to see the sport of soccer win in the hearts of fans.
"I think it will be a tremendous opportunity in the future to see the tournament grow and continue to just interact and show international soccer from the MLS and the other leagues as well."
But the fans he really wants to touch, are the ones right here in Hawai'i.
"I think it will be special, it's something that I've always wanted to do and hopefully the kids will want to come out and watch, and give the kids in Hawaii something to shoot for."
Ching and the Houston Dynamo arrive in the islands this Sunday.
The team is scheduled to play both on Wednesday and Sunday of next week at Aloha Stadium.