From Hawaii to the World Cup
From Hawaii to the World Cup

It’s a lot of body control. When you’re standing up on the board
there’s a lot of balance that goes into it. There’s just so much coordination
that, I think goes into surfing. Knowing how my body moves and works and that helps me get comfortable with soccer ball. Left isolated in the middle of the
Pacific Ocean with limited resources, access, and opportunity to play the
beautiful game, Hawaii is in many ways a microcosm of the problems many
face on the mainland. Hawaii is a very expensive place to
live. It’s what we call the price you pay
for paradise. The smallest landmass of all 50
states, in the culture here, soccer is the fight against sports with much deeper roots like American football and board sports. Surfing, American football, then basketball, baseball, volleyball, paddling… then soccer, probably? Then golf, actually golf is pretty popular here too. {laughter} With the U.S. missing out on the
World Cup, and MLS clubs here for pre-season’s Pacific Rim Cup, I figured now was the perfect time to come to the last
place you’d think for talent. Maybe just for that reason, exactly where we should all look. The hardest thing for the kids is they don’t get to physically see
that high level of soccer. They don’t get to see it every
weekend. They also don’t have that same
technical level of competition that they have on the mainland or the United States. There’s just something about us. There’s like a competitiveness that will to win, the hate to lose. I think coaches look for that and you know that might be a deciding factor in big games. It’s a challenge because you live so
far away we need to take a plane over to see them. But every once in a while there’s a
very special player that is in a very small town on a very small island. If you’re doing your due diligence
you’re going to make every effort to find
them. One of my proudest moments as a soccer player, human being, or whatever, was being in Germany at the World
Cup. It was standing there against Italy on the sidelines singing the national anthem before the game and I thought, wow… came from a small little island in the middle of the Pacific to the world’s biggest game. What an incredible journey. You grew up on the beach…
{laughter} I grew up on the beach. I mean literally, I surfed here more than I played soccer you know, soccer is just one of those
things that You know the more I play it the more
I liked it. The MVP for the 2006 MLS Cup…
Forward Brian Ching… {cheers} When I think about that, I think about how far I went in soccer, It makes me proud to see that I’ve achieved that, not coming from a soccer background. Wow, wait can we talk about these haircuts?!? Oh! Look at this, folks. Sorry ladies. He’s.. he’s taken, a family man now. This is in his playboy days.
{laughter} Wait so you were Brian’s first
coach. What was it like coaching him? The parents in soccer, they didn’t know what soccer was back then. No body knew how to play it, I
didn’t know how to play it. I had to read the book. Before practice and set up the practices. Because I didn’t know how. I have index card that I would go by. So make sure that I would keep practice going. Let’s go back to the high school level. You coached at Commandment High
School, was Brian Ching there at the time? He was there at the time. He’s was a little scrawny then he is
now, but he could still… he was absolutely lethal in the air and you could tell that he was
very special. Bud is at the center of it all. A former baller herself, stared at Santa Clara on the
mainland, but she’s come back to take the helm of Hawaiian women’s soccer. How do you find the best players particularly from Hawaii? There’s a very finite number of
players, even though there’s 7,000 registered
players playing in the Hawaii Youth Soccer
Association and another, you know, twenty eight
thousand in AYSO. There’s a lot of kids playing, but the competition is not at that top tier. How does it work for kids in Hawaii who don’t have the money to pay to be one of the better clubs? We have to find kids who are going
to be very resilient. So with the unique set of challenges we
face due to our location, we have to kind of think outside the
box. We have to liaise with the club
coaches. They will call us and say hey there’s a kid that you
need to come and see or this player is going to be on Oahu soon. You should go out
there and watch. So those have been really helpful ways for us to identify
local talent. Becomes a real challenge to
captivate a youth soccer player and then tell them they have to
travel to four tournaments a year. So how do you go to your mom and say I know we have three other
kids but I need to take four three thousand dollar trips this
year so I can get recruited for college. You know and that’s tough. Yeah, that’s a really tough. To get a sense of the next wave of
soccer people on the island, I decided to head over to Lanikai, on the east side of the island to
meet Max Anton of Paradise Soccer. A soccer store with a surf vibe. Max is at the forefront of the soccer movement here sponsoring
youth futsal teams and local pickups and recently dropped a throwback
jersey in honor of the late 70’s little known NASL squad Team Hawaii. We played one year, one season, played against like, Pele, George Best, Cosmos were in it. Sounders, big teams like that. So that was pretty much the last
time we had like a real professional team. Hopefully, one day Hawaii will have a professional team again
that’s our big goal is bring as much attention to Hawaii soccer as
possible in hopes that one day MLS, whoever, USL, indoor leagues, somebody will want to make something
out here one day. Do you think that’s possible? I definitely think it is possible and I hope it comes true. You know in my lifetime I hope
I’ll be able to see it and I hope some of the kids that we help along the way I hope they’re playing and I hope I get to see them on TV. Somebody like Bobby Wood who has
Hawaii connections, somebody like Brian, that was successful. I want, I want to see more Hawaii
kids in big leagues basically. Natasha Kai comes from a very small
town Kahuku on the north shore of the
island. If she were to drive here and take
her hour 15 minutes to get here. Zach Scott’s from Maui. We have a couple of kids from Maui
in the national team for the girls u-15. The beautiful part about the the
island and this state is that there are
good players everywhere. I think we’re on our way. We’re definitely progressing where we’re getting more kids into the youth academies here at MLS. Where us we grew up playing is
pretty much the same teams, the same kids, since we’re like 12 to 18,
you know? Having social media in this digital age is
a way of breaking down barriers for kids that
don’t often get seen in Hawaii. Max as a kid I saw on Instagram and has used social media to connect with people beyond the island, including Seattle Sounders Jordan
Morris. I have a surprise for you, are ready for this? Max, what’s up buddy? It’s Jordan
Morris here. I wanted to wish you all the best in the upcoming year. We hope to see you back out in Seattle soon. It was great meeting you a while ago. Just wanted to wish you all the
best, so talk soon, buddy. Pretty cool. Not bad, right? You guys really are friends. Yeah. We both have type 1 diabetes and it inspires me a lot to see that he has type 1 diabetes and he can do it. And so it makes me think I can do
it. He gave me advice to just, say like, he just said work hard, don’t let diabetes stop you. And it’s ok like, take care of it, and at the same time playing soccer. The departure of the NFL’s Pro Bowl has meant kids you’re no longer have
access to pro sports in person… until now. With the return of MLS pre-season’s Pacific Rim Cup. Columbus Crew SC and Vancouver Whitecaps filling that void. Hawaii for preseason, how did hustle this? You know, been working on it, for what is it, 13 seasons. {laughter}. Finally pays off. Yeah yeah. No I think some time with, spending some time with Brian Ching
back in the days in Houston to, put some influence on this. And say you know what, before you’re done playing in the
MLS you must make it to Hawaii. So, this place is beautiful. Have you seen any young, maybe mini-Ching’s running around? It’s a small pool, but definitely you can definitely spot more talent when you have a small pool. {children playing in the
background}. There you go. This is small pool. There you go. Theye are like, this is a big pool
here. That’s my striker I was telling you
about. OK. He’s the one. Yeah. You can tell by the hair, always. The next Ching. Why do you think the Sounders have put so much emphasis into trying to find the Hawaiian players and how do you think that could help
their development? There’s always been something with Hawaii and Seattle Sounders, like there’s just something that’s
there. We just get each other, I guess. Brian Ching was one of the
first, if not the first, Zach Scott was a long time hero. Awesome pro. And myself. Hawaii… we got good talent. We got good players. We just need to be seen in the
world. {Announcer} S2 with an opportunity. Here here’s a long range effort oh
what a spectacular strike. Solid performance for the youngster. Shannon Hopeau, the Hawaiian native, just with a brief aloha. You hear there’s a kid from Hawaii
who plays for S2 and he’s from Hawaii. He’s a homegrown player. Seattle now actually, their homegrown territory is Hawaii. So they’re bringing players over. I think he’s 19 years old, went over there. Perfect example of giving kids and finding them and getting them in the right
environment. And hopefully I was, you know, part of showing those kids that there is there is a
way to get there to the highest level. When you find an area that is producing a lot of athletes, the good football players, the good basketball players. It becomes a very interesting concept, like hey what if we can lure these
great athletes to soccer. And this is something that’s
happening across the country, I think. When you, when you, talk about how
the U.S. is going to be competitive. So it’s the same thing here, where you’re like, “where the best athletes?” Before, soccer was, I think it kind of developed in the
Honolulu area. And as it started to branch out and get into pockets, or areas where there were heavy, you know, Polynesian and Native Hawaiian communities, the the level of athleticism went through the roof. So, you’ll see now where’s before
baseball was taking a lot of the good soccer
players. You know they get involved at a very early age and because of their
athleticism, they’re able to just pick things up
so much more quickly than some of the other kids. When you look at the history
difficulties that we’ve had as a race and shows that, hey look you know
you can succeed even though in the past things have
gone against us. It just takes determination and fight and grit and resilience and you can achieve things. You know it’s not easy, but, it’s a big part of who I am and what I identify with and what I want to be seen as. Aloha, welcome. Brian and I are both can trace our
ancestry or genealogy back to before the arrival of Captain Cook. And so this school is predominately for children who can trace their
genealogy back so that it gives them that
education that helps to make a step forward in society. From 9th grade to my senior year. Almost every morning. I brought the ball or sometimes kick the ball up
against the gym wall by myself. It was hard at first to consistently make that choice to say I’m going to go down there and I’m going to work by myself for an hour. But the more I made that
decision, the easier, and easier it got for me as I went along. And then I got a college scholarship to Gonzaga. Got one college scholarship. And I was like alright, I’m going
there! Where is Gonzaga? {laughter} And I was like, what is this snow on the ground
stuff? You know, this is awful. It wasn’t till my Junior year that I actually got invited down to train with the L.A. Galaxy And that’s when I was like, oh maybe I can be a professional
soccer player, you know? And I mean, my last name Ching, but… {laughter}. I see myself more as a Hawaiian more
than anything else because I grew up here. Right? And I went to this school, right? And I’m proud. I mean, I got the Hawaiian Islands
tattooed on my arm, I got my Hawaiian family name. You know I made sure my son has his
Hawaiian family name. So we carry that on. You know, and I know you guys are
all proud to be Hawaiian. Being from Hawaii born and raised, we’re very prideful
people. You act different, you walk
different, you talk different. The special qualities about Hawaii
people and it’s like, we have that mentality you know
we’re going to give everything we have until we can’t. That mentality, that we have here, that makes Hawaii so special. I think our kids kind of carry that Alhoa spirit with them and become like
ambassadors of Aloha. Ohana means family. I feel like a lot of the soccer
teams I’ve been on it’s like a big family. When it comes to the amount of kids
playing or potential kids that can play. India, Indonesia, United States, and China. None of them are in the World Cup. None of them have soccer culture. How do you develop that culture in this country? How do you continue
its growth? How do you accelerate its growth from our league already? Kids here have access to soccer a lot more than I ever did growing up. So hopefully, we get to see a lot more people
coming from, not just Hawaii, but small towns across the country. Much of life here finds a balance
between preservation and progress. Where a love of home and a desire for more forces people to the mainland for greater
opportunities. In soccer, pioneers like Chingy have charted this course. With Max, Bud, Kenji, all leaving the island and coming back to create opportunities for the next wave of young players. This is the spirit of Ohana. Where family goes deeper than blood, and where no task is too tall when
done together. And maybe it’s on us. All of us. To finally realize, that a culture rooted in real
struggle may just be the spirit behind all of our success. And that Hawaiian soccer is not
defined by what it lacks, but rather, by what it has.

26 thoughts on “From Hawaii to the World Cup”

  1. Noah Turtle boi says:


  2. Cheto paraguayo says:

    Hawaii needs a football team and should play in Concacaf

  3. Cheto paraguayo says:

    Hawaii needs a football team and should play in Concacaf

  4. MrJacobd16 says:

    small pool xd 8:49

  5. Solrac says:

    I would like to play for Hawaii FC if they ever make a team in the MLS

  6. AndrewDippe says:

    Loved this video

  7. Hic Nuntio says:

    Great job guys!! Love to see Brian Ching involved and promoting soccer in Hawaii, from a Houston Dynamo fan.

  8. Brian Smith says:

    There are some immensely talented players in Kailua and in Honolulu. I don't think Hawaii gets the soccer reputation that it should be getting.

  9. JA10 says:

    It will be difficult to see a Hawaiian team play in the MLS. USL will be a better choice on getting a team.

  10. COPA90 US says:

    loved this Calen 👏👏👏

  11. Mario Cee says:

    Wow soccer growing out of control the sport of everyone 💯💯💯

  12. Vans431 says:

    Any scouts looking for players look in Arkansas a new team coming Soccer #Diamondheadsfc

  13. Allied Atheist Alliance says:

    Way to get a free holiday Calen!! 😀

  14. NYCFC Away Days says:

    Away Days to Honolulu/anywhere in Hawaii would be wild! We hope Hawaii and Alaska get expansion teams soon!

  15. REI AVELAR says:


  16. NOU GAMES says:

    good video minus a lot of audio issues

  17. Josh says:

    I don't see a plausible or profitable way Hawaii makes a professional team that plays in the MLS or even the USL, the travel just kills that option, unless some new form of highspeed transportation is created lol
    What Hawaii can do is make its own small league with like 8 teams or something and the top teams teams play in CCL, but yeah idk??

  18. Josh says:

    That kid who was talking to Calen with the long curly hair, is very talented, I've seen his videos on instagram. I hope he continues to work hard and maybe we'll see him on the national team one day

  19. Ben Pantera says:

    USA soccer youth system is build to failed imo. Maybe i was wrong because united states is very2 different.

  20. RB Zee 🛡️🛡️🛡️ says:

    A team in Hawaii would be difficult. The closest away game would be in LA, a 5+ hour flight.

  21. MJBR says:

    Just keep playing the game "gringos" and new talents will show up naturally. US has good weather most of the year. No excuse to be out of the pitch. Much love from Brazil.

  22. Joma Champion Max Joma Champion Max says:

    Me being an Oahu resident our state can't fund any pro team even out college football team (american) is the highest to "pro" in our state.

  23. James Roberson III says:

    This was so awesome!!!!

  24. Puro says:

    "when you look at the difficulties we've had as a race"…. When did Hawaii become a race? Oo

  25. Dwaipayan Datta Roy says:

    Koeak ta boll de , aamee knuckle boll video upload lorye debo 6 boll for

  26. tim vail says:

    We need superstars to promote Hawaii more!  The talent is here.

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