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.