To the whole world except for one averaged size country north of Mexico, football means one thing but to the United States it means helmets, pads and field goals. It doesn’t matter what it is called to Chad Ochocinco, he wants to play and with the NFL lockout now technically in effect the Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver has decided to try a new kind of football – at least until NFL players and owners come to an agreement.
He has earned a four-day tryout with Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer.
The club made an announcement on Wednesday that after the tryout, it would then determine whether or not to extend the trial run for Ochocinco. Long before football came into the picture, Ochocinco played soccer, starting at the age of four but later giving it up in high school to focus on football.
“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.
Ochocinco has long been influenced by soccer and often tweets about the sport while at games or meeting with some of it’s superstar players such as Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldinho. In 2009, the world got its first taste of what he could do when he successfully kicked an extra point in the preseason. He also said he uses a soccer ball to help him warm up for NFL practices and games.
Sporting Kansas City is going through a bit of a transitional phase as they changed their name from the Wizards, while moving into a new stadium this season. Last year they were a bubble team who just missed a playoff spot.
“We’re always searching for players who can help our team and bringing in new talent,” Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes told ESPN. “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.”
They will open their MLS season this Saturday when they take on when they head to Los Angeles to take on Chivas USA.