March 16, 2011
With the NFL's players and owners digging in for a lockout, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco has been talking up his desire to play another kind of football while he can't play the kind involving pads and crippling profit sharing disputes.
In January, he claimed he would have trials with Real Madrid and Barcelona, but they just amounted to a visit with his pal Cristiano Ronaldo and a few photo ops. Now, Ochocinco is set for a trial with one of MLS's most publicity aggressive clubs, Sporting Kansas City. And this one is apparently for real.
Sporting Kansas City has invited National Football League star Chad Ochocinco to Kansas City next week for a four-day tryout with the Major League Soccer club. Following the tryout, set to begin on Tuesday, Sporting Kansas City will determine whether to extend the trial period. [...]
"Due to the NFL lockout, I'm excited to be able to follow my childhood dream of playing for a Major League Soccer team," Ochocinco said. "Thanks to Sporting Kansas City for giving me this opportunity."
Keep in mind that MLS is just 16 years old and Ochocinco is 33, so those are the childhood dreams of a 17-year-old who gave up the game before getting to high school that he's referring to.
Before his imaginary trial with Real Madrid, Chad publicly pondered on Twitter: "would they really sign me with no professional experience? I'm just fast as hell." And it seems that's what Sporting KC is banking on:
"We're always searching for players who can help our team and bringing in new talent," Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes said. "We know that Chad is an exceptional athlete and that he loves the sport of soccer, and he did play a lot when he was younger. We're excited to see how his skills will translate once he arrives next week and begins training with our team."
I think we're all excited to see how his skills translate. Yet, even if they don't, it will be another attention grabber for the newly rebranded club that just gave their new stadium's naming rights to Lance Armstrong's Livestrong charity for free. So in that regard it's almost guaranteed to be a success even if Ocho plays like someone who hasn't done so since middle school.