KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 23: Chad Ochocinco begins tryout with Sporting Kansas City on March 23, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Chad Ochocinco Sticking Around As Honorary Member Of Sporting KC

Chad Ochocinco will stay with Sporting KC -- but not as an official member of the team. The club announced he would stick around as an honorary member and train with the team.

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Chad Ochocinco Becomes 'Honorary Member' Of Sporting Kansas City

Chad Ochocinco's run with Sporting Kansas City isn't done just yet. Though he wasn't offered a contract, the team announced he was offered a position as an "honorary member" of the team. Basically, he'll be training with them during the lockout but won't have an official contract on the team. 

Ochocinco has been thrilled with his time in soccer, even if it wasn't always pretty. Via Randy Covitz of the KC Star:

"I just played in a match for a professional soccer team," Ochocinco said. "It doesn't get any better than that. What is everybody else (in the NFL) doing? ... I've seen two people get in trouble with the law ... I'm playing soccer. ... I can get better, stay fit, continue to stay active instead of being home on my butt."

Say what you want about Ochocinco but the guy works hard and stays out of trouble, which not all NFL players can say. He's fun to be around and creates an atmosphere that players enjoy. His coaches enjoy him as one assistant coach told me he was surprised at how willing to learn and to work he was.

"He's been a pleasure to have here," Sporting KC head coach Peter Vermes said. "He's progressed in the days he's trained with us. We feel his stay here has been so good in so many ways that we offered him an opportunity to continue to work on his fitness while he's waiting for the lockout to finish, and we made him an honorary member of Sporting Kansas City. He has been fantastic in all ways. In the locker room with the guys, and just with the staff and everyone else, it's been a real pleasure."

He left Kansas City and headed back to Miami for a few days before returning next week to continue training. 

So get ready for an Ochocinco summer, Kansas City. For more on Sporting Kansas City, check out the informative The Daily Wiz.


Chad Ochocinco, Sporting Kansas City Decision Coming

What's Chad Ochocinco's next move? The Cincinnati Bengals WR and new tryout player for Sporting Kansas City could be moving on his way and ending the soccer experiment -- or he could be staying. That's up to coach Peter Vermes but, according to various reports, Ochocinco struggled in a practice game on Monday.

Specifically, his conditioning wasn't quite up to snuff nor were his soccer skills, which he spent all week attempting to refine. Here's what Vermes said, per the Star:

"As I said before, it's a long shot for him to make our roster," said Vermes, who is expected to sit down with Ochocinco this morning. "That remains (the case)."

So it sounds like a decision will be coming soon -- either he stays or goes.

But Ochocinco is trying. Though the publicity is there, this isn't solely a publicity stunt. He's working with the coaches, receiving instruction and staying in Kansas City as he works through it. His career clearly isn't in soccer but, in some ways, you gotta respect the guy for trying.

So we'll see what the final decision is for Ochocinco. If Sporting KC can keep him in a reserve role, even as a practice player....why not?


Chad Ochocinco, Sporting KC Tryout Will Continue Into Next Week

The Chad Ochocinco experiment will continue through Monday. 

On Thursday night, a Sporting Kansas City assistant coach told me that they expected to keep Ochocinco in town on tryout through Monday or Tuesday. Ochocinco confirmed that news via Twitter on Friday morning.

I've been asked to stay through at least Monday to play in the reserve game for further evaluation by coach Vermes

Interesting. The assistant coach said Ochocinco is humble on the soccer field and very coachable. He says Ochocinco has obviously been away from the game for a while but he has the necessary work ethic. 

Whether that turns into a new summer job for Ochocinco during the NFL lockout is another thing. But it's a start.


VIDEO: Chad Ochocinco's Soccer Tryout With Sporting Kansas City

[Video via FOX Sports]

Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco caused waves last week when he announced via Twitter his new job during the NFL lockout would be playing soccer for Sporting Kansas City. His tryout started this week and will last until Saturday -- or longer if head coach Peter Vermes chooses.

Ochocinco completed his first practice on Wednesday and by many of the accounts from reporters that were there indicate he was a little rusty. No one doubts he's a great athlete but his footwork needs some work. That's pretty much what I expected to hear.

Ochocinco was the news of the day as a large contingent of media made its way to Swope Park to watch the team practice. Afterward, Vermes had a large press conference followed by Ochocinco. He insists it isn't a publicity stunt, instead he's hoping to fulfill a childhood dream.

Ochocinco will practice with the team on Thursday and Friday while they have a game on Saturday. For more on Sporting KC, check out The Daily Wiz


Chad Ochocinco's Sporting KC Tryout: 'I Didn't Expect To Come In And Be Superman'

I didn't personally attend Chad Ochocinco's first practice with Sporting Kansas City but I've been reading a lot of the recaps of what his first day was like. The general feeling is that while Ochocinco is a great athlete, he has a ways to go before he's a soccer player.

Here are a few reactions to his first day and for full coverage of Sporting KC check out The Daily Wiz.

Ochocinco himself:

"Exactly what I expected," the sixtime Pro Bowler insisted. "I haven't ran at this pace or this level since the end of our season of football. It was fun. I didn't expect to come in here and be Superman."

KC Star's Charles Gooch:

Ochocinco is fast, that's not debatable. But on Wednesday he was betrayed by a rough first touch and seemed unsure of how to use his feet (not for kicking, but for placement when controlling and positioning his body). Which just so happen to be the two skills that separate football players and futbol players. (It would be like Kei Kamara showing up at Chiefs camp to try out for wide receiver but having stone oven mitts for hands.)

Leander Schaerlaeckens of ESPN.com:

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.

KC Star's Terez Paylor:

When news broke of the tryout last week, he didn't grant interviews. Instead, he spent the weekend training with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, a North American Soccer League team. By all accounts, he flew into town alone, and was described by several Sporting KC players as "quiet," "friendly" and "respectful."


Watch Chad Ochocinco Practice With Sporting Kansas City

You gotta hand it to Sporting Kansas City. They know how to market themselves and give the fans what they want. That includes airing Chad Ochocinco's workout with the Cincinnati Bengals live on Sporting85.com. Indeed, the stream is going and, as of this posting, there are well over 1,000 people watching.

In addition to that, you need an email to sign-up which probably means they're growing their email database. Smart move.

Ochocinco is trying out with Sporting Kansas City this week while the NFL lockout is on. Because of that lockout, Ochocinco can do things like play soccer. It'll be interesting to see how folks react to this try out and, even more than that, if he actually makes the team.

Even if he doesn't make it, Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes says (via FOXSports.com) it may good for soccer.

"I think it'll say something about our sport if he can't make it," Vermes said. "If that's the way it goes, and I'm not predicting anything, I'm keeping an open mind, but if it didn't go his way then sure, people will look at our sport and realize it's not easy to play."

Here's a photo of Ochocinco, many of which you can view from @SportingKC.



What Will Chad Ochocinco's Tryout With Sporting KC Include?

Cincinnati Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco is making the leap to soccer by trying out Sporting KC on Wednesday. The NFL is locked out meaning Ochocinco technically isn't under contract, a contract that would usually prevent him from playing soccer.

So he's in Kansas City and the tryout will be closed to the public. But what will he be doing? Here's what the KC Star said about a typical Sporting KC Wednesday workout:

A typical outdoor training session under coach Peter Vermes includes light running, group stretching, touch-passing drills and half-field coaching sessions. Wednesdays often can include a highly-controlled 11-on-11 full-field scrimmage. The sessions often end with small groups working on shooting, passing and defending.

Maybe they have special plans for Ochocinco but they've said he'll be treated like any other tryout (except for what will undoubtedly be a line of cameras at the entrance to practice).

We'll see what kind of updates we get from Sporting KC on how everything went because I'm eager to hear what they have to say. Was this clearly a publicity stunt? Does Ochocinco actually have game?


Chad Ochocinco Arrives In Kansas City For Soccer Debut

Chad Ochocinco arrived in Kansas City on Tuesday night to prepare for his Wednesday debut with Sporting Kansas City. The Cincinnati Bengals WR will be on trial this week as he tries to prove this isn't a publicity stunt and he really can play.

Ochocinco arrived at KCI on Tuesday night to what looks like some cameras:


His practice on Wednesday is closed to the public so this won't be a publicity stunt from that standpoint. It's unclear what his tryout will entail. The KC Star mentions one tryout on Tuesday included running laps without even touching the ball.

The KC Star also mentions he went to Oklahoma Joe's upon arriving in Kansas City. Here's a photo of him there from Twitter:


He ordered a Z-man with fries which, if you've been to OK Joe's, is a no-brainer order. Looks like Ochocinco is already off to a good start in Kansas City.


Chad Ochocinco Making Way To Kansas City For Sporting KC Soccer Tryout

A Pro Bowl receiver is on his way to Kansas City -- but it's not for the Chiefs. As announced last week. Cincinnati Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco is trying out with Sporting Kansas City this week. The team confirmed the news last week in a press release.

Ochocinco also said via Twitter that he's making his way to Kansas City on Tuesday:

I really enjoyed my short visit to INDIANAPOLIS,great time with the fans last and shopping this a.m. Kansas City see yall tonight :)

And another tweet he sent to @SportingKC on Twitter;

extremely nervous about tomorrows trial but anxious to meet the players and compete against some of the worlds best

The tryout is reportedly closed to the public so that's one way Sporting KC is trying to prove it isn't a publicity stunt. They'll play on Saturday which gives Ochocinco the rest of the week to show the team what he has.

It'll be very interesting to see how Sporting KC handles this. Part of me wants them to say, 'No, thanks' and move on instead of turning this into a major publicity stunt. Another part of me is curious how he would do. Ochocinco, like many NFL players, is quite the athlete so I'm curious if he can make the transition.

We'll be eager to hear how his first day goes.

Check out more on Sporting KC at SB Nation's The Daily Wiz.


Chad Ochocinco Confirms Sporting KC Tryout Is Due To NFL Lockout

So it's legit. Cincinnati Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco is coming to Kansas City to tryout for Sporting KC. The tryout will take place next week from March 22-26 at which point Sporting KC will decide whether to extend the trial period.

A Sporting KC spokesman told CNBC's Darren Rovell: "This is not a publicity stunt." Sporting KC issued a press release and here's what head coach Peter Vermes said:

"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."

Incredible. Sporting KC "gets it" when it comes to publicity, whether they say this isn't a publicity stunt or not. For an organization trying to make its mark on the city, they're doing a fine job.

"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."

Last week Sporting KC announced the name of their new stadium will be Livestrong Sporting Park in reference to Lance Armstrong's foundation.


Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco Will Train With Sporting KC

Last week Kansas City's MLS team became national news when they announced the naming rights to their new stadium opening up this summer -- Livestrong Sporting Park. The name of course comes from the foundation started by Lance Armstrong. 

Sporting KC can probably prepare for some more publicity. The NFL's Chad Ochocinco, receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals, is coming to Kansas City to apparently train with Sporting KC. The NFL is in a lockout so technically NFL players aren't under contract and can play other sports, such as soccer, apparently.

A Sporting KC rep has confirmed the news and a press release will be coming soon. Here are a few relevant tweets on the topic.

From Ochocinco:

#OCNNBreakingNews I'll be playing on the MLS team @SportingKC on march 22nd, thank everyone involved especially coach Vermes #EPIC

From Sporting KC:

Excited to have @ochocinco coming in to tryout/train with the team next week. More details to come...    

From Grant Wahl of SI.com:

Just spoke to KC press officer: @Ochocinco on trial w/team next Tue-Fri. Coach Peter Vermes is serious about it, as is Ochocinco. We'll see!

Sporting KC has a match scheduled for March 19th and March 26th so apparently he'll be in Kansas City training between those games. 

For more on Sporting KC, check out The Daily Wiz.

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