I know I may be a bit late with this but for those of you who don’t know, NFL wide receiver Chad Ochocinco has received try-outs for MLS side Sporting Kansas City. Ochocinco had always loved soccer as a kid and was understandably a star player in his youth when he received a tweet from Kyle Rogers, Sporting Kansas City’s digital strategist last Wednesday. They discussed possible terms and the rest as they say is history.
Anyway, Ochocinco turned up for his first session of a four day trial yesterday and Leander Schaerlaeckens (ESPN soccer writer) followed him closely, even writing an article on how he got on on his first day:
After watching his first practice with Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer on a live feed on Wednesday, it was plain to see: Ochocinco is many things — an athlete, an entertainer and a media hog — but a soccer player is not one of them.
Ochocinco got off to a decent start. His first touches, in a simple passing drill, were accurate, if a little hesitant. Insofar as you could tell from a dozen side-footed kicks, his technique is sound, as he used both feet well.
Before you start thinking ‘oh, he could be class!’ read the next part –
But as practice wore on and the drills became more intricate, Ochocinco exposed himself. Taken aside for an individual workout with a coach, like all trialists are, it became obvious that some of the basics of the game elude him. His dribbling looked passable, if a little clumsy, like a puppy learning to run for the first time. But when it came time to send in crosses, an essential skill for the winger Ochocinco would like to be, the discrepancy between a pro soccer player and a very athletic fan of the game became apparent. Taking too many touches and too much time, he was unable to get a single one of his crosses to its intended target in any kind of acceptable fashion, if it got there at all.
So, he’s still got a lot to learn. But I’m looking forward to hearing more about Ochocinco in the coming days and hopefully for comical sake, he passes the grade with flying colours.
A pic and a vid to accompany David Beckham’s new tatoo..
Golden Ball's new tatoo
I know I’ve been absent for the last day or two but I’m back and bursting for more. Today, and with it taking place tomorrow, I’m going to talk about the upcoming MLS SuperDraft.
This particular draft has been looked forward to by many and before we know it, it’ll be over.
The 12th annual MLS SuperDraft resumes tomorrow as I’ve stated and I’ve been intrigued as to how such an event can be held. Basically what I gathered from reading up on this is, every year around mid January the MLS prepares for it’s primary draft. Similar to the NFL Draft, we are treated to announcers giving us insights into who and where the next pick will be coming from.
This year the process has been slightly altered with the traditional four rounds of picking being reduced to three, with a total of 54 new players introduced to Major League Soccer, North America’s premier league. Among those first to choose will be the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Portland Timbers due to them being relatively new among the MLS scene. They get first pick each for the three rounds, a process which is deemed fair considering it goes from the worst to the best teams, picking wise.
Among those waiting for their chance to simmer are the players involved in the Akron Zips, who’ve endured an imperious 2010, winning the national league, which is the ultimate recognition for any side. Seven of the team are available for tomorrows event and I wouldn’t be surprised if Darlington Nagbe and Kofi Sarkodie are among those chosen first.
Another hopeful of making it big in America is the lesser known of the Rooney brothers, John Rooney. John had been competing in the Player Combine Cup as part of a friendly tournament. Rooney had been of Macclesfield town previously but he’s failed to make an impact and seeks elsewhere for work. The MLS could be the escape route he needs to salvage his career.
The SuperDraft takes place at precisely 5 PM UK time tomorrow and I will keep you updated as soon as details are released.
Yet more activity has arrived from MLS and this time it surrounds Colorado Rapids star Omar Cummings and a possible loan move to Aston Villia.
Cummings scored an impressive 14 goals for the MLS team last term and has caught the eye of many in Europe.
Rapids coach Gary Smith had said “Aston Villa contacted us a few weeks ago with interest to see Omar up close. “After discussing the opportunity with Omar, we felt it would be a good chance for him to get a leg up on preseason training and at the same time get the experience of training with a Premier League club.” Cummings is only 28 and if he has a successful spell in the midlands we could get used to seeing him feature in the Premier League.
Come this years transfer window, it remains to be seen how many MLS stars will be linked to England. Big names Landon Donovan & David Beckham were linked heavily, while not so well known names such as Robbie Findley, have arrived in England and signed for clubs.
Nottingham Forrest today secured the signing(subject to a work permit) of USA international Robbie Findley on a two and a half year contract.
Findley, who has 11 caps for the USA national team, started his career at LA Galaxy but was later successful at Real Salt Lake, scoring 21 goals in his last 46 games. Findley had attracted the attention of premier league clubs such as Wolves & Birmingham but Forest’s manager Billy Davies today emerged as the victor. Davies said he was delighted with the signing and that he fought off attention from other big clubs.
There was debate over whether Findley’s style of play would suit in the Premiership and the signing for Nottingham Forest proved ideal as we can now get a clear indication of whether or not he would be able to play at the highest level, or close enough to it. I look forward to seeing more of Findley and he will now be known on a international scale. Many MLS stars have been linked with various European clubs with Edson Buddle, Landon Donovan & David Beckham all linked with a move to England.
Unfortunately it’s not to be for Toffee’s fans as Landon Donovan has ruled out a move to Everton during the MLS off-season.
Donovan was heavily linked with the Merseyside club, with Fulham also keen on his services. Donovan gave a statement to the LA Galaxy website yesterday proving heartbreak for Evertonians worldwide. Donovan said ”While I enjoyed my time at Everton last season and still appreciate all the support their fans have given me, I feel that it is important to continue to rest and recover this off-season as opposed to going on loan.”
Everton have now turned their attention to Aston Villa outcast Stephen Ireland, who whas failed to make an impression ever since his arrival to the Midlands. Also on Evertons Transfer shopping list is Wolves winger Matt Jarvis & Manchester City want-away striker Roque Santa Cruz. They’ve also been linked to Steven Taylor of Newcastle in recent weeks.