Monday, November 12, 2007

Ching Doubtful For MLS Cup Final

As reported by the Houston Chronicle, Brian Ching will likely miss the championship game with a calf strain he suffered during Saturday night's 2-0 win over Kansas City.

"At this point, it seems unlikely (that Ching will play)," team trainer Bruce Morgan said late Sunday. "But I don't want to rule it out as a possibility.

"We're trying to be as optimistic as possible. It's a significant muscle injury, but I'd like to believe there's still a possibility that he might be available for selection come Sunday, as unlikely as that appears at this time."

This will likely result in Joseph Ngwenya getting the selection at forward next to Nate Jaqua. Ngwenya, who joined Houston this spring in a swap with the Columbus Crew for Alejandro Moreno, has scored six times while working mostly off the bench and substituting for Ching during US call ups and injuries. Ngwenya is a threat, but much less of one than Ching who has given the Revolution fits in the past.

Nate Jaqua has also been a thorn in the Revs' side while at Chicago, but wound up in Houston after a July trade with LA Galaxy. Alexi Lalas traded for him at the start of the season to be a target forward for David Beckham. Of course, Lalas needed to make his five transactions per month quota to receive a brokerage discount, and traded him to Houston before Beckham even stepped on an MLS pitch. Jaqua has also scored six goals for Houston this year.

It has yet to be seen what this strike partnership can do in an important game. They have had some success this year, but they don't have a ton of minutes playing together. With the lack of open space the Revolution scheme has allowed opponents as of late, they may be relied upon to create goals on their own. For Revolution fans, that may be a bit of relief as they have scored mostly amidst the chaos of a Dynamo midfield rush.

More on the Ching injury situation as it develops.