Chad Ochocinco participated in limited training with Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of Sporting Kansas City)

Looks Like Chad Ochocinco Will Be Sticking Around As 'Honorary Member' Of Sporting KC

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Sporting Kansas City Clarifies Chad Ochocinco's 'Honorary' Status

Chad Ochocinco showed a lot of things while training with Sporting Kansas City. He took the trial seriously, and never acted like it was a publicity stunt. He indicated a willingness to train hard and was a good teammate. While no one seems to think he has much of a future as a professional soccer player, he did prove worthy of being allowed to stick around to train with the team as long as he wants.

"He really loves the game and he was into it. He wanted to try to make it," SKC manager Peter Vermes. "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 admitted that as of today, he's not capable of earning a spot on a MLS team. He knows he doesn't have the complete skill set needed to play at this level, but still seems to enjoy the experience. Still, Vermes said that he sees promise, and that if Ochocinco had chosen soccer over football that he probably could have been very good.

"There's no doubt in my mind he would be a professional player today," Vermes said. "No doubt in my mind. We've had guys in here with lesser physical tools than he has. He brings something to the field, his attention to detail and he's very conscientious about the game. When you bring that every day onto the practice field you're just going to get better."

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Chad Ochocinco Says He's Now An 'Honorary Member' Of Sporting Kansas City

Take this with a grain of salt, but Chad Ochocinco is saying that he's been invited to train with Sporting Kansas City as long as he wants and is now an "honorary member" of the team. It's not immediately clear what that means, but one would assume that there's no reason to expect to see Ochocinco suiting up for a MLS match anytime soon.

This is so awesome I'm an honorary member of #SportingKC and can train with the reserve team as long as I want. Totally awesome #ILuvKCless than a minute ago via RockLive

 

Ochocinco made his playing debut with SKC on Monday in a reserve game against a PDL side. He didn't exactly embarrass himself, but he didn't exactly make a strong case for making the team, either. 

This moves seems to indicate that SKC at least feels like his presence in camp is a net positive. By all accounts, he's been treating the trial with respect and he has been humble when dealing with teammates, coaches and the media. More importantly, perhaps, this has proven to be a public relations success for SKC, a team that has long struggled for attention and is now preparing to open a new stadium, Livestrong Sporting Park.

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Chad Ochocinco Makes Reserve Game Debut; Is The 'Experiment' Over?

Chad Ochocinco suited up for Sporting Kansas City on Monday and made his playing debut in a reserve match. Granted, it was against a PDL side, and he was at times playing alongside a 15-year-old, but there's no denying that it gave the world the first chance to see how Ochocinco looked in a reasonably competitive environment.

What the world saw was a player who still looks largely tentative when playing against even lower level soccer players. Playing mostly on the right side of the midfield, he never really showcased his speed, looked less than confident on the ball and generally didn't look much like the kind of player who is capable of contributing to a Major League Soccer team.

The speculation all along has been that if Ochocinco was going to really make an impact on SKC, it would have to be at forward where he could potentially be used to track down long passes over the top of the defense. Ochocinco never really was tested in that way.

Ochocinco's original four-day trial ended on Saturday, so it wouldn't be particularly surprising if this is the final time he suits up for SKC. Of course, the game was live-streamed at the Sporting KC website and there were about 3,000 people online for most of Ochocinco's appearance. Considering the trial isn't really costing SKC anything, maybe he'll be back after all.

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Sporting Kanas City Ask Chad Ochocinco To Stick Around For Reserve Game

The chances of Sporting Kansas City actually signing NFL wide receiver Chad Ochocinco to a MLS contract still seems slim, at best, but it does look like we'll at least be able to see him play in a competitive match. Ochocinco says he's been asked to stick around for Monday's reserve game. The match is not one of the 10 Reserve League matches SKC will be playing against other MLS teams. The MLS hopeful broke the news on Twitter, and the official SKC account seemingly added merit to that news by retweeting the message.

#OCNNBreakingNews I've been asked to stay through at least Monday to play in the reserve game for further evaluation by coach Vermes #coolless than a minute ago via RockLive

 

The news has been greeted with predictably mixed reactions on Ochocinco's Facebook page. Within 30 minutes of the news being posted, it had received nearly 700 "likes" and more than 150 comments.

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Humble Chad Ochocinco Seems To Be Taking Sporting Kansas City Trial Seriously

Chad Ochocinco would probably not have earned a trial with Sporting Kansas City if he was just some dude that used to play high school soccer and not a NFL wide receiver with some time to fill, but that doesn't mean he's taking the trail for granted. After his first day in training, Ochocinco was saying all the right things.

"I'm trying to get my touch back," Ochocinco told assembled media on Wednesday. "The only thing I'm really good at is being fast as hell, that's about it right now. When you play this game, you need skill and that skill takes a long time to perfect.

"I'm not taking anybody's job here, it's not about that. I'm just trying to make the transition from football to futbol. This is something I've always wanted to do...it has always been my No. 1 sport."

This is obviously not about money for Ochocinco, as he claims he'd be willing to play for free. Listening to him talk, he seems to have an honest passion for the game and is doing his best to pay the proper respects to the situation.

Peter Vermes, the SKC general manager and coach, also seems to be taking a realistic approach. He's treating Ochocinco pretty much as he would treat any trialist, save for the media attention. 

"Normally, we bring guys in for a week’s training," Vermes said. "If we like what we see, we'll continue to keep him around and then the idea would be to sign him to a contract. That's the ultimate goal, but at the end of the day, he has to perform.

"I always considered this from the beginning that it's a longshot. We get trialists all the time, but they are always longshots. That's why they're trialists. If they were good enough, we'd sign them to a contract then. There have been guys to come in with lesser physical tools than he has."

But if Ochocinco does make the team, and even finds his way onto the pitch, it would probably be must-see TV. Ochocinco promises an epic goal celebration.

"I don't think I'll be in position to score a goal, but if it gets to that point, I'd imitate Will Ferrell from Talladega Nights when he was on fire. I'd be running around with nothing on except my undies and cleats."

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Chad Ochocinco Makes Training Debut With Sporting Kansas City

After much hype and attention, Chad Ochocinco actually made his training debut with Sporting Kansas City. There was a live video of his performance, and he apparently didn't embarrass himself, but also admitted to being humbled by the experience. If you're interested in finding out all the nitty-gritty details, you should probably check out The Daily Wiz, SB Nation's Sporting Kansas City blog, who actually attended the training session.

As a fan of MLS, I have some mixed feelings about this little venture. On one hand, this has a lot of potential to turn into a distraction for a team that is just getting started a 10-game road trip to start the season. But the harsher reality is that this team could use all the attention it can get.

The reason for that grueling 10-game trip is that SKC is still putting the final touches on Livestrong Sporting Park. To put it simply, SKC should be doing everything in their power to make sure everyone within a reasonable distance is well aware of their existence. Sure, bringing in a NFL player for a MLS trial may seem a little bush league, but this distraction is drawing far more headlines in far more prominent places than Omar Bravo's sparkling debut ever could. It may be unfortunate, but that's the reality MLS is living in.

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Yes, Chad Ochocinco Is Really Coming In For A Tryout With Sporting Kansas City

As much as many of us in the soccer world would like to believe this was all just a big joke, it now appears that Chad Ochocinco is going to be with Sporting Kansas City on some kind of trial. At least, that seems to be the only way to really interpret a tweet from the official SKC account.

Excited to have @ochocinco coming in to tryout/train with the team next week. More details to come....less than a minute ago via web

 

As you should by now know, Ochocinco is currently available because he's currently out of a real job as a NFL wide receiver. With no clear end to the impasse between the NFL owners and players, and Ochocinco previously claiming an interest in soccer, maybe it was an inevitability that some MLS team would at least give him a chance.

I trust that SKC coaches will not be force-fed actually putting Ochocinco on the roster, but this still seems like an unnecessary distraction. If we assume that Ochocinco is being given an honest chance to make the roster, is there any reason to believe that someone who has never played professionally can do enough in a few tryouts to warrant a roster spot? If we assume this is just a publicity stunt, is this fair to SKC players who are getting ready to embark on a season-opening 10-game roadtrip?

For all the right moves SKC ownership seems to have been making over the past year or so, this is a real head-scratcher. There does not seem to be a clear upside, other than drawing attention to a team that seems to be doing just fine getting it in the right ways.

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