According to ESPN.com, after five-day tryout proved that he was a good teammate who lacked enough soccer skills, NFL star Chad Ochocinco got what he was hoping for Tuesday — a spot on the reserve team for Sporting Kansas City. Now he’ll work out a couple of times a week with the MLS team’s reserve squad, which is what he was hoping for all along.
“This is so awesome I’m an honorary member of SportingKC and can train with the reserve team as long as I want,” Ochocinco said in a tweet. “Totally awesome ILuvKC.” As a member of the reserve team, the six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals will not be given a contract or be paid. But soccer will be a great way to stay in shape until owners and players work out their differences and the NFL lockout is lifted.
Coach Peter Vermes said Ochocinco, 33, had proven himself a hard worker and a good teammate and was never a distraction. “He really loves the game and he was into it. He wanted to try to make it,” Vermes said. “I think it’s also good for him. He realizes this is a lot more difficult than it [appears to be]. For our sport, it’s great because I think there’s a lot of people out there who question how hard it is to play this game and it’s very, very difficult.”
Ochocinco left for home after getting the good news and said he would return “in a week or two.” “He realized he’s not good enough to make the team and play in games,” club spokesman Dave Borchardt said. “This way, he gets to be part of the soccer locker room, which is a dream come true.” Ochocinco showed his enthusiasm but also unpolished skills in a reserve game Monday against the Kansas City Brass. He appeared to be realistic about his chances of winning an MLS contract.
As with most Ochocinco activities, this is primarily a publicity stunt to keep his name in the news. We would suggest that, rather than kicking a soccer ball. he hone his conditioning and receiving skills so that he is not standing on a soccer sideline when the NFL revs up again in 2011.