NFL star Ochocinco to trial with Sporting KC

OchoCinco (GettyImages)


It appears not even an NFL labor dispute is enough to keep Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco off the field.

Ochocino will join Sporting Kansas City for a four-day trial starting next week, Kansas City announced on Wednesday. Ochocinco will join Kansas City next Tuesday, and following the tryout, head coach Peter Vermes and his staff will decide whether or not to extend it.

"We're always searching for players who can help our team and bringing in new talent,” Vermes said in a press release. “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."

While the trial may seem like just a publicity stunt, Sporting KC and Ochocinco are adamant that it is not.

"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.”

Ochocinco was introduced to soccer at the age of four. As a youth, he played the sport competitively as striker until attending Miami Beach Senior High School.

What do you think of Ochocinco trying out with Kansas City? Believe it to just be a publicity stunt? Hoping it's not so you can see Ochocinco chase the likes of Thierry Henry and Landon Donovan?

Share your thoughts below.

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264 Responses to NFL star Ochocinco to trial with Sporting KC

  1. Duck says:

    Ochocinco is going to be the of the year in fantasy, you heard it here first.

  2. Duck says:

    ‘steal of the year’

  3. wc says:

    In my opinion, it’s mainly a publicity stunt for KC, but Ochocinco is probably taking it seriously.

  4. Grayson says:

    He is a great athlete and all, but it would take at least a year of training for him to be skilled enough to see the pitch. I would love to see it, though.

  5. froboy says:

    obviously a publicity stunt, zero chance he is good enough to make the team

  6. majormajormajormajor says:

    As ridiculous as it sounds, I really love the idea. I think that it could potentially get more people interested in MLS, but also I think it would be a great if he actually found modest success, as unlikely as it may be.

    MLS needs personality, and they may have just crossed paths with one of the biggest in American sports. Good luck, 85.

  7. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    You have got to be kidding me. Is SKC really lowering themselves to this?

  8. radi0head says:

    im just curious to see how good he is

  9. werner says:

    what position does he play?

  10. nam says:

    Nice in theory, but it will never happen. I doubt he has the soccer IQ to actually be useful on the field.

  11. dman says:

    Does it really hurt anyone…it will be on PTI/ESPN tonight.

    PS he changed his name back to Chad Johnson

  12. ChiTownFireFan says:

    This can only end well…

  13. farcyde21 says:

    If he is good enough to make the pitch (after not playing since before high school) then I will be trying out for the SKC as well and filing an ensuing lawsuit when they cut me… athlete or not, there is NO WAY he has the skill that should necessitate him starting. If he does, it should be a STRONG message to our country and the way it handles sports. I also give him 2 days before he tries to catch a pass with his hands.

  14. aristophanes says:

    I don’t see why it’s completely ridiculous. It’s not unusual for world-class athletes to be extremely (like top 1%) talented in other sports. Many players get drafted by different teams from different sports. I hear all the time about players having to decide between an MLB team and an NBA team, or NBA and NFL.

    Michael Jordan dropped out of NBA and played baseball at roughly the same level as MLS. (I.e., MLS : EPL :: AA : MLB)

  15. Idaho Brian says:

    He is a stud athelete, and he actually does have some soccer skills. However, he has to be a long shot to actually be on a roster. I am intrigued to see what happens though…

  16. Dustyn says:

    He has worked out with European sides before and supposedly works out with a soccer ball all the time. He may have the skill but it is the knowledge that is going to be lacking.

    Either he is good enough to make it or he isnt. It’s a trial and trials are all about seeing if someone fits with the team.

  17. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    If by “well” you mean “in utter embarrassment and disaster” then yes, it will end very well.

  18. Clevelandfc says:

    Is it better or worse for the reputation of MLS if he does well?

  19. tnnelson says:

    i can’t say how his skill level is after years of playing a completely different sport, but i don’t think his age will come into play as much as for career soccer players, like some people think it might. most 33 year old players have a ton of mileage and their legs are rickety and old, but football players don’t run nearly as many miles, not even remotely close, as soccer players, so his age shouldn’t be as much of a concern. the real concern is whether he has good touch on the ball (unlikely) and a good soccer IQ. judging by the fact that his last game was in high school, his skills are probably not up to par.

    that being said, he’s an incredible athlete, so maybe he can play catch up faster than anyone else ever could

  20. Dustyn says:

    It’s not different than Deion playing baseball and football or Bo Jackson as well.

  21. tron says:

    Imagine if you could turn these types of players away from NFL and to MLS at an early age?

    Great talents, tall, fast, great footwork. Too bad they got “lost” to the NFL.

  22. Kenny_B says:

    At first I thought I liked thed idea but the more I think about it I don’t. If he is able to make the club it certainly would make people that are skeptical about soccer in this country even more so.

    I can just hear that moron Jim Rome,”Look at Chad Johnson, he can go make a club at the profession level after not player for years, what a talent starved league MLS must be” or something along those lines.

  23. BellusLudas says:

    Love it!

  24. vivavilla says:

    Didn’t Usain Bolt train with Real Madrid, one of the most storied clubs in the world?

  25. Jason B says:

    Not sure what the downside is in this. It gets people talking about MLS right at the beginning of the season. SKC can just let him “trial” for a couple of days and then, hey…if he’s good enough sign him up. If he’s not (more likely) let him go on his way.

    The irony is that he would have been better off doing this six weeks ago when he could actually train with the team during preseason, but the NFL lockout hadn’t begun until the last week or so. Maybe, just maybe, if he is as good as he says he is than the six weeks of preseason may have been enough to earn himself a spot on SKC’s bench. But I doubt it.

  26. dman says:

    Could they put him on the reserve squad?

  27. Colin says:

    I think it’s actually the opposite.

  28. aristophanes says:

    Yeah, and countless others. I think Antonio Gates – probably the best tight end of the last decade – was a college basketball player. Hardly any football at all, and he became a hall of famer.

  29. Rob Radley says:

    If he can play left back, cap him for the national team now!

  30. Hmmm says:

    I do wonder, hypothetically, if he was talented enough (zero chance by the way) to make the team if being in NFL Wide Receiver shape should make him out of shape in MLS. The WRs have the best shot at being in soccer shape due to the sprinting, but I seriously doubt he could play 90 minutes.

    I bet he couldn’t make a top men’s amateur team in DC.

  31. Striker Deprived USA says:

    Play him up front and cap him BB!!!

  32. Brad says:

    Is it a publicity stunt? YES. Is it all bad? NO. Henry was a track star, right? If the NFL lockout ruins a season, MLS could benefit from it. And before you all jump on my back, I did NOT say it will replace the NFL.

  33. Jason B says:

    Just imagine how quick Michael Vick could be without pads on…

  34. Louis Z says:

    I always wonder how good his soccer skills are, I guess now we will know. if he makes the team and NFL is a lockout for the season KC will have lots of new fans.

  35. Peter says:

    Go Chad!

  36. Angel FAN of USA says:

    I like the Idea of 8-5 to play soccer, I heard on an interview a long long time ago at least way before the world cup that he loves soccer and the reason he didn’t play because there was not too many people influencing him to go for it. Well it doesn’t kill the game for giving a trial, Heck I’m a Galaxy fan and we did back in the early days of the MLS with that guy from Melrose Place “Andrew Shue” I believe his name is. So go for it Ocho cinco. I think he can be a great forward attacker plus in the air he can kill if he is a good header.

  37. Pistowie says:

    Theres a lot you can say about Ochocinco, but everything I have heard about him is he is a extremely hard worker on the field. It is just off the field he is nuts lol

  38. Wispy says:

    I wonder what number he’ll wear.

  39. Felix says:

    Its a publicity stunt for Sporting KC and probably something Ochocinco is doing as a ego trip – im a great athlete, i think i can i can play with these guys.

    Either way, it’ll be entertaining, I’ve always found Ochocinco to be funny.

  40. Judging Amy says:

    Wow. I love this. I love Ochocinco. I hope this is serious.

  41. They are adopting some poser Euro name and licking Lance Armstrong’s butt for stadium naming rights so I don’t doubt this story one bit.

  42. MC Pharaoh says:

    Maybe is gona be a GK.. lol

    Any idea on what position he is planning on Ives?

  43. aristophanes says:

    I propose the Stars and Stripes trade Jozy for Ochocinco. I bet it’d be better for all parties!

  44. Brad says:

    He could only really be a striker, right?

  45. Cliff Poncier says:

    I think it’s great publicity for MLS. Johnson is a wonderful athlete and if he fails it will show just how talented soccer players are. If Johnson does show anything, I’d guess it will be on the defensive end. The 8 to the 5 could be a bigger version of Marvell Wynne.

    I think it would be cool for a reality show to follow the guy as he tries to make the team and plays with the reserve side. If Johnson dedicated himself to the effort, whether he succeeds or fails it would be great tv. Imagine watching him train with the team and learn technique as he strives to accomplish his goal. Even if he doesn’t reach it as long as he trains hard it would be compelling.

  46. rick says:

    Actually it makes mls look like a very weak league. Hate the idea.

  47. Hopper says:

    Does anyone really believe it was his “childhood dream” to play in Major League Soccer?

    Was MLS even around when he was a child?

  48. Dustyn says:

    So, did Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders playing baseball make the MLB look weak?

  49. Bobby says:

    I TOTALLY agree…I can’t stand Jim Rome and his hatred for soccer. This could possibly be the worst thing to happen to the MLS…

  50. BR says:

    “Poser Euro name” Yes, unless we see the plan to expand to other sports under the umbrella unfold. Then it makes complete sense, just unusual in the US sporting landscape.

    “licking Lance Armstrong’s butt” If that’s what it takes to find a cure for cancer and/or ease the suffering of those battling while increasing their chances of survival, then so be it… But, just so you know, Livestrong will go on long after Lance Armstrong’s fate is decided or he leaves this earth.

  51. Bryan says:

    Cmon Ives, you’re a few weeks early for an April Fools joke. πŸ˜›

  52. Bobby says:

    “Child please!”

  53. Doug says:

    So he hasn’t played soccer since before high school? This is a joke

  54. Paul C says:

    I don’t think the league is established enough yet for this not to be considered an absolute joke by a non-MLS fan.

    15 years from now it would be great, but whether or not he makes the team, this will make a mockery of the league.

  55. soccerroo says:

    If i remeber correctly the jamacian Sprinter that won the 100 meters in the olympics did something similar with a top European club. He did not change sports but said when he finished as a track athalete he might focus more on soccer and do a serious trial.

  56. FulhamPete says:

    Ochocinco, the moment he steps on the field is one of the fastest in the WORLD GAME. He leaps like a flea (look it up) and has been taught body position for YEARS.

    Touch on the ball, probably no…but he only needs one, and fundamentals are similar to riding a bike–you never forget how to strike a ball.

    I think he’s going to fail…but I’m rooting for him, and would LOVE to see him succeed.

  57. The Sir says:

    So did MLB display weakness by allowing Deon Sanders play during his off season?

    85 IS a terrific athlete and he isn’t doing this to make a mockery of MLS. It’s been documented in several interviews that he loves soccer!

  58. Flaveur says:

    no… just no

  59. brad says:

    chad has to be better than eddie

  60. Andy in Chicago says:

    This is some of the most awesome news I have ever read.

  61. FulhamPete says:

    Oh, and you’ve GOT to put him up top as a poaching striker. Not enough practice for a mid/wing/CD.

  62. Flaveur says:

    ESPN is going to put a muzzle on Rome soon with regards to soccer. They already made the anchors on Sportscenter stop trashing.

    Eventually the executives as Bristol realized that it was counterproductive to push soccer while having their “talent” trashing it.

  63. Flaveur says:

    top men’s amateur team in DC… D.C. United?

  64. Modibo says:

    Give me an effing break.

  65. Steve C says:

    Well, my thoughts are — if he comes in and does well, or even exceeds expectations, thats a VERY bad thing for MLS. It will give the anti-soccer Americans more fodder, saying that Ocho Cinco can just show up and play soccer.. hey look, anyone can do this.

    Other than that, its just giving the league a lil PR.

  66. montana matt says:

    this is an embarrassment.

  67. Cairo says:

    This is great–lots of publicity for MLS any way that it turns out. If he can’t keep up at all, hopefully he’ll go on National TV and say “these guys are really good.” If he somehow can keep up, the entire country will be watching to see how he does. MLS has only really had two true crossover stars since it began. Beckham, and during his first season, Adu. Chad Johnson would be the third if he can somehow come in and make the squad. Remember, there are going to be a lot of NFL media looking for stories if there’s no football… Love it.

  68. Judging Amy says:

    I love how people get so riled up about MLS’ Euro-emulation (Sporting, Real, FC whatever). It only sounds silly because its new. Other countries have done the same thing but because their leagues have been around longer it doesn’t sound funny (Sporting Cristal, Deportivo Quito, etc.)

    Its borderline snobbish behavior probably motivated by the fact that people don’t see Kansas City as a glamorous European city.

    Either way, its just a name, not really a big deal, but everytime Sporting KC is mentioned somebody has to snidely complain about how ridiculous the name is.

    The only MLS Euro-emulation that upsets me is when they took away the shootouts. Those were awesome.

  69. Jason B says:

    Actually, I was thinking about his skill-set and GK came to mind as a possible position. Good leaping ability, quick reaction time, and good hands.

  70. aristophanes says:

    good argument.

  71. Judging Amy says:

    Yes. Just yes. Whats wrong with his argument? I thought his MLS:EPL :: AA:MLB argument was an especially apt analogy. I’d seriously be curious to hear your arguments against it.

  72. Aaron in StL says:

    Whatever dude, he’s our new LB. Guaranteed.

    It’s obviously a PR stunt… don’t get why people are so serious about it.

  73. JOhn says:

    I’ve seen interviews with him before where he has stated he would like to play soccer in a couple of years, when he’s done with the NFL, and that he warms up before every game kicking a soccer ball around.

    It’s great that he’s getting a trial, but it would be best if he didn’t make it, because then it shows the public that it isn’t that easy to play the sport. Now if it turns out he’s actually good at it, and winds up playing, even better.

    Any American Pro athelete from any other sport talking about soccer and saying he likes it is a very positive thing for soccer in this country!

  74. drew says:

    Please, oh please, can we not have potential reactions from Jim Rome determine the direction of American soccer.

    There may be reasons to not like this, but Chad’s potential success and the reaction of know-nothings like Rome is not remotely one of them.

  75. CGold says:

    Antonio Gates played basketball in college and then was drafted in the NFL draft. Yes Gates is a freak of nature, but why not give it a try with OCHO? And no I don’t think he will have as much of an impact as Gates…never say never, just sayin.

  76. Brian says:

    If he gets signed I wonder how he would feel about making the league minimum in MLS

  77. Bottlcaps says:

    Only if he changes his name to dos-y-zero :-)

    Actually I would like to see the lower divisions have try outs for more College division 1 stars who fail to make the pros in their respective sports. Just think; how many 6-9″ B-ball players from college do not make the least dozens. Put them between the sticks and teach them goal-tending, a position that requires more eye-hand co-ordination and less soccer skills and let thier natural athleticism flourish.

    I think OchoCinco’s attempt is a well though out one. If he the appropriate has soccer skills. Who knows, he might encourage other athletes who have such skills to utilize them in one of the fastest rowing sports in the country.

  78. Judging Amy says:

    Who cares what Jim Rome says from a soccer context? He’s not going to like it no matter what.

    Soccer fans can’t take guys like Rome seriously. Its just not worth it.

  79. Bmoney says:

    Are you crazy? The MLS is not the barclays league… Watched some MLS last night and it looks like JV soccer, I bet he makes the team and is on the field in less then a month.

  80. Chad could be a faster Marvell Wynne. Play left or right fullback. I’ve heard that Wes Walker is pretty good too. Or at least a coach (Leach?) once said that he’s so good at finding space in a defense, comes from his soccer experience.

  81. The Sir says:

    I don’t think the public really cares about how “easy” it is to play a sport. Football has seen numerous instances where people with little to no experience come in as ridiculous athletes and turn into great football players. Just off the top of my head: Antonio Gates (college basketball player), Jason Pierre Paul (rising star who only played college football for only one season), even Julius Peppers was a basketball standout.

    America cares about entertainment, bottom line and as the MLS product improves, so will the TV ratings. If Chad Johnson can improve the quality of the league and bring about some much needed exposure at the same time, why the hell not let him play? (And for the record I am NOT guaranteeing he can add quality seeing as he hasn’t played in about 15 years).

  82. brian says:

    While Jordan did play baseball, you would be hard pressed to find someone who would say he was decent at it. Unless you wanted to watch someone strike out, it was just bad PR. So it is not a good argument. I would have gone with Bo Jackson or Deion Sanders, that would be a better argument.

  83. I’m sure KC is setting up volleyball and basketball teams to include in their offering.

    The main motivation for the naming rights alliance is to use Lance Armstrong’s connections to get concerts at the new stadium. Any donation to the cause is incidental.

  84. Judging Amy says:

    True but the purpose of the trial isn’t necessarily for him to be their starting striker. If he makes the team or reserves its not ridiculous for him to be trying out. Doesn’t kill the argument.

  85. diego says:

    IF, big if , he makes the reserve squad, I would LOVE to see Jim Rome open his big mouth and start a media war with Ocho about soccer. Honestly, who’s opinion do you think young aspiring atheletes would listen to? OCHO would be a better ambassador for our sport to young AMERICAN kids than Beckham could ever dream of being. Not that it matters, I agree with the belief that he just will not be able to hack it as a pro soccer player, but can see the positive side if he does.

  86. Eric says:

    This is awesome.

  87. RSLnPortland says:

    Good post until the last paragraph. Then /facepalm

  88. james says:

    Come on Ives, you’re off your game. April 1st isn’t for another couple weeks.

  89. Dustyn says:

    That was not the main motivation in the naming rights deal. Lance Armstrong will bring little, if any new concerts to the venue. It is now the nicest outdoor concert venue in the city so it was going to get plenty of concerts anyway.

    Learn your facts before posting incorrect info.

  90. Tanio says:

    And yall ask why other leagues see the mls as the mickey mouse league.

  91. MicahK says:

    WTF ?????? It is to early for April Fools Day

  92. CincyBaller says:

    I have knocked the ball around with him……he can play, it’s not all a hoax

  93. Aguinaga says:

    Love this. Repeat after me naysayers. 4 DAY TRIAL. PUBLIC CURIOSITY. MEDIA ATTENTION. Potential new fans… Our league has over the course of 16 years grown leaps and bounds! When has it ever really mattered what the rest of the country/world thinks? Pretty sure most of us don’t give a FCUK what peeps like Jim Rome thinks. For those that do, and there are many, we need to finally shed this massive American inferiority complex we’ve been traumatized/convinced into as a soccer public given our league’s relative infancy & lack of World Cup success. To be annnoyed/worried about what outsiders who don’t follow the league ANYWAY will say/think because of a gimmick signing is an unecessary waste of time. Signing this guy won’t be for those who decry this sport in the US at every opportunity. It’ll be for those curious people on the fences who aren’t sure if they want to start following a league/sport they aren’t familiar with. Surely #85 won’t make the team as a starter, nor convert loads of curious onlookers into die hards. However, if we can get 10 out of every 100 curious viewers to return because they enjoyed being voyeurs, that’s a success that wasn’t there before Mad Chad the wonder self promoter showed. No other team will be able to draw additional crowds just to see a guy play 10 minutes, if that. I think it’s genius while it lasts, even if only 96 hours. Down with Beckham as league media whore. Arriba Esteban.

  94. DCUPedro says:

    Jordan hit .202 in AA baseball. He would not have ever even made the team if there was a legitimate open try out.

    And don’t compare him to Deion Sanders or Bo Jackson or Charlie Ward or Danny Ainge. Those guys played at elite levels of baseball (or basketball) in college and were draft in high rounds of the draft.

    Charlie Davies is a professional athlete, and a damn good one. People say he’s 100% physically, but may start out on DC United’s bench because he hasn’t played a competitive match in 18 months. Chad Johnson hasn’t played soccer in a competitive match in 18 YEARS. And the last competitive match he played wasn’t in Ligue 1, it was as a FRESHMAN IN HIGH SCHOOL.

    Are you people at out of your damn minds? Do you have that little respect for our MLS guys? Have Henry, Beckham, etc come in and torn up the league at Ochocinco’s age? Did you see Landon freaking Donovan look downright mediocre on the ball last night in an MLS match after 4 months off?

    MLS is not the Premeirship. But anyone who thinks you can just stick a great 33 year old athlete in there who played soccer as a kid and it not be embarassing is grossly underestimating the pace, physicality, skill, and overall level of play that MLS features.

    Every team that engages in a publicity stunt (Jordan, Manon Rheaume, etc) swears they are dead serious about it. That’s part of the stunt. There’s no way that KC spends a dime of cap room or roster spot on OchoCinco. If they do, they will be embarassing themselves and their fans.

  95. abc says:

    That was slick field turf on a rainy night, usually the level of play even in MLS is higher than that, hell see Real Salt Lake last night in the Champions League.

  96. DCUPedro says:

    Unlike Chad Johnson, those guys all played the sport at elite levels (college basketball, football, and baseball) are elite, and most of them were drafted out of college in those sports. They happened to be two sport athletes.

    Chad Johnson playing organized soccer as a Freshman in HS 15-20 years ago isn’t remotely close.

    I honestly question whether people commenting on this soccer blog know anything at all about soccer.

  97. Mat says:

    Regardless of his skill level, its great for MLS.
    MLS will be in the headlines, and awareness towards the league and the sport of soccer in the US will be increased.
    Also, it’s kinda cool that such a iconic NFL star thinks that soccer is his “childhood” dream. Might turn more kids towards the sport.

  98. Cairo says:

    I think he’d be fine with it, because he’d make that much more money on endorsements and his other business ventures. Imagine the ad campaign Nike could do with this. And IF he’s good enough to make the team, might he get significantly MORE than the league minimum? After all, as good as Beckham was when he signed, was he $5million/year better than his teammates? NO, but his economic impact was…

  99. Hector says:

    i don’t know if anyone remembers, but the yankees (not a fan) signed jerry seinfeld to a one day contract a couple of years back. obviously publicity stunt, but he did actually take a real at-bat. i wouldn’t mind seing ochocinco come in the last ten minutes of a game to see what he’s got.

    plus i think everyone is overlooking the best part. the post goal celebrations between him and teal “i like dat BOON BOO REEE” would be the best duo of celebrators. even w/ CD9 back in the league.

  100. aristophanes says:

    Well then take Antonio Gates, who as a college basketball player played little football, then was drafted by the Chargers and became a hall of famer.

    As for underestimating the MLS, that may be. But in my opinion, the MLS is precisely the kind of league into which Ochocinco (or any gifted athlete) could possibly translate their skills. It’s fast and strong, but lacking in touch, creativity, and tactical nous. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Ochocinco has a bad first touch, but then, so does most of MLS.

  101. BK says:

    What a freaking joke. The guy hasn’t even played high school soccer. This is actually disgusting to me. I don’t care how good of an athlete you are…it doesn’t translate onto the soccer field. I for one will love seeing the video of that cocky #sshat getting circles ran around him by guys half his size. Only in American soccer would we see this. Sporting KC is now officially a joke. A laughingstock.

    Not sure why this irks me so much. Frustration going. Going…….Gone.

  102. Dudeinho says:

    people need thicker skin haters will always hate on soccer no matter how much the sport grows.

  103. abc says:

    Soccer doesn’t require any skill, my grandma could probably start for Real Madrid!!

  104. DCUPedro says:

    Umm… Sanders hit .331 in college for an elite program (Florida State). Bo Jackson hit .401 with 17 HRs at an elite college program (Auburn).

    These guys were drafted as top prospects after performing at the highest level of their age groups.

    They pursued careers in these sports concurrently with their football careers. Not as an after thought. They were professionals.

    Chad Johnson played for high school soccer as a HS freshman 18 years ago.

    To even compare him to Bo and Neon Deion is a joke.

  105. Charles says:

    Loved the shootouts.

    PKs are 100th best behind shootouts in settling a tie. With Shootouts holding the top 99 spots.

  106. Louis Z says:

    I think if he fails in his attempt it will show that being a soccer players is not as easy as non soccer people think it is, which will give the sports credibility. if he succeeds the MLS as a star in the making, that is, for the lockout year. I have been a coach for many years and always looked for a diamond intherough and the best non soccer athlete is the 200 meter runner, why? because they are conditioned for endurance. 100 meter runners have a harder time adjusting.

  107. Charles says:

    I quit caring about Anti MLS fodder a long time ago, you should join me.

    They are idiots, not worth even thinking about.

    IF he is great, he will make it, if not, he won’t. Anti-MLS guys obviously are not qualified to tell the difference.

  108. BK says:

    If this happens, I will gladly retire my label as an MLS fan. I’ve lost a significant amount of respect just hearing the news….had to check my watch to make sure the date wasn’t 4/1.

    Would any other person of any other name get an invite to a trial with “Star striker of the WhoGivesACrap Middle School Lions” on his resume? Seriously…ridiculous.

  109. BK says:

    Get a clue. Let’s sign up Tiger Woods, Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi, and Betty White while we are at it. MLS is not a freak show and/or circus.

  110. gigi says:

    well..someones gonna say it eventually so i guess i should…………CAP HIM! πŸ˜‰ haha

  111. DCUPedro says:

    I thought MLS had finally realized that trying to attract the casual Joe Public American Sports Fan was not only a lost cause but actually cost it crucially with the demographic that it needs to attract: soccer fans in America that don’t see MLS as having credibility in global soccer.

    How does this help that? Hell, why even do the re-brand away from Wizards if you’re going to target NFL fans?

    This is a terrible, terrible idea. Not all publicity is good publicity. People KNOW what MLS is. What MLS needs is not publicity but brand management.

  112. Charles says:

    Who cares ?

    I will enjoy games like last night, which was sloppy and didn’t enhance MLS’s rep.

    and not care about a bunch of people trying to decide where MLS ranks.

    It is a fine league, with a ton of talented players….and exciting soccer.

  113. Mike M says:

    One of my reasons for following soccer is to get away from idiots like this one

  114. fischy says:

    Wide Receiver.

  115. DCUPedro says:

    The NFL is all about athleticism, little about skill or intelligence outside of the defensive backfield and quarterback positions.

    MLS only lacks touch, creativity, and tactical awareness relative to the top 4 leagues in Europe.

    It is MILES ahead of the level that Chad Ochocinco last played the game at when he was 15.

  116. Charles says:

    Well I don’t know as much about soccer as you obviously, but I like to think I know something.

    Can you at least give me that ?

    There were plenty of people that played one sport in college and two in the pros. Studs no doubt, but none the less, so is 8-5.

  117. Bob says:

    It’s a blatant publicity stunt. NFL is king in America and Ochocinco has name recognition. Soccer fans will (or should) call BS, but casual American sports fans will be keen to find out why one of their own is dabbling in soccer.

    It’s like the Beckham Experiment gone horribly wrong.

  118. BK says:


    Why? It’s a cheap PR stunt and degrades the credibility of a league that people like me on this board like have tried for over a decade to defend from Euro-snob attacks. How do we look now? This sets us back 15…nay 20 years if that is even possible.

  119. BK says:

    Have you ever played soccer? Of all sports, it is the least likely to be just picked up on a whim and mastered by a different sport’s star….and by least, I mean ZERO percent chance.

    OchoCinco is a genious. A cocky ahole genious. Taking all of MLS and MLS fans for fools…straight to the headlines on his way to a post-NFL reality show.

    Anyone that likes this idea is an idiot.

  120. Slyboy says:

    its ok, if that’s all it takes for you to ditch MLS then you weren’t the best fan in the first place.

  121. ACS says:

    Ready for another Bo knows commercial…

  122. Francois says:

    This is embarrassing. Only bad things can come from it, and it can only hurt the already fragile reputation of the MLS. I don’t like it at all, I think Sporting KC is using it to gain publicity and I think it’s selfish of them to potential sacrifice the leagues reputation on some PR stunt. MLS has an opportunity to step up and have it’s biggest year ever and something like this could potentially set it back.

  123. Jim says:

    The last time MLS tried a stunt like this was with Andrew Shue. And Shue looked totally lost, even though he played soccer in college and semi-pro in Zimbabwe just 6 years before his MLS attempt. No way Chad can hold his own after not playing for almost two decades.

  124. ACS says:

    Maybe we will have all the NFL kickers trying out for teams now.

  125. Judging Amy says:

    +1. Repped.

    Anyone getting all indignant about this has an MLS inferiority complex. Its a new and very serious disorder recently added to the DSM-IV.

  126. Judging Amy says:

    If he sucks like you are certain he will, then he won’t make the team right? So how does MLS’ rep get devalued in that case?

    Its not that serious man. No need to call people idiots.

  127. abc says:

    Mind blown.

    They need to at least try him out as a GK!

  128. timbull00 says:

    I can’t tell if this is a PR stunt?

  129. Brian says:

    You mean the shootout where the player started from half-field and the goalkeeper could come out of his box?


  130. A lot of really ugly comments here, considering none of us have seen him play and have no idea how good or bad he is. Would Steve Nash (another big soccer fan who chose a different sport) receive this kind of vitriolic response?

    Love him or loathe him (I’m indifferent), the guy is a world-class athlete, and would hardly be the first to play two sports at a high level. Everyone knows Bo Jackson (no pun intended), Deion Sanders, Herschel Walker. How about Antonio Gates, a Pro Bowl tight end who only played basketball in college? LeBron was a highly-recruited football player out of high school, and would be playing in the NFL right now if that’s what he wanted. Donovan McNabb played in the Final Four.

    Could Ochocinco hack it in MLS? I have no idea, but neither do any of you, so keep your unnecessarily spiteful comments to yourself. No one is interested in reading such pointless posts.

  131. The Sir says:

    Either KC says he’s good enough to play and they extend his trial (based on his abilities) or they say no and he’s gone. What is the worst could happen? Do you really think KC is going to waste space in their salary cap on a player they don’t believe can contribute? Do you really think they can afford to do that?

    There are so many people with an inferiority complex its ridiculous. You know it IS possible to be a hardcore fan of multiple sports right?

  132. The Sir says:

    Excellent post. There are too many sensitive cry babies out today.

  133. SouthSounder says:

    too easy…you should have just let that joke make itself. :-)

  134. Jimmy says:

    Rapper Master P tried out for the Hornets. Nobody said that was a publicity stunt! The guy seriously wanted to give it a shot, the Hornets gave him a try out and he wasn’t good enough in the end. What’s the big deal? Nobody claimed the NBA was a joke because of this.

  135. SouthSounder says:

    Goalkeeping is arguably the hardest position to learn (properly). That’s why so many keepers don’t hit their stride until their late 20s or 30s, but can keep playing into their 40s. It’s a mental position (yes, double-entendre).

    Regarding his soccer IQ … it will be way higher than your average NFLer….he watches the game constantly and has watched EPL teams train. However, the “doing” and the perspective from the field is an entirely different beast.

  136. perspective says:

    It’s unbelievable how many people have zero perspective on this blog. This is just a situation where a professional/famous athlete is given an opportunity because of who he is. Nothing more, nothing less. It happens all the time.
    The Miami Dolphins gave England GK David James a tryout several years ago. Are the Dolphins (and the NFL) a joke?
    In fact, the NFL often gives tryouts to olympic level sprinters who rarely pan out.
    Randy Moss and T.O come to mind as football players who were given minor league level basketball contracts.
    Tony Romo tried to qualify for the U.S. Open in Golf. If he would have made it does that mean golf is a joke?
    Heck, Master P (the rapper) had a tryout with the old Charlotte Hornets!! Wow, the NBA sucks.
    Everyone who is bashing the MLS for this needs to calm down. He has no chance of making the squad but MLS can’t buy this type of press so it’s worth the tryout

  137. Kevin says:

    Considering he hasn’t actually TRAINED for soccer since before high school, I think it says a lot about SKC that they’re even doing this.

    I am sick of the people that say “the US would be better at soccer if our best athletes didn’t play football, basketball, baseball, etc.” This obviously ISN’T true considering the differences between all of the sports (obviously, you need to be OUTRAGEOUSLY athletic in basketbal/football, where as in soccer, you don’t). This only pushes that notion even further. What an f’ing joke.

  138. abc says:

    That would be good, right?

    Do NFL players freak out and say the public will think playing in the NFL requires no talent when people with soccer backgrounds become NFL kickers?

  139. Jamie says:

    No dude, that’s what the team website said, learn your facts.

  140. Brad says:

    The Bengals website is reporting that the lockout is allowing Chad to follow his life long dream of playing in the MSL.

    And its not a typo, as they spelled it out once as Major Soccer League. Nice.

  141. abc says:


  142. Kevin says:

    Thank you. I don’t understand why no one else seems to realize this. Anyone who this this guy actually has a shot seems out of their minds to me if they think he actually has the skill and ability of a soccer player to play professionally.

  143. abc says:

    Well, the Bengals are an incompetent organization so I’d expect nothing less.

  144. DCUPedro says:

    Chuck, the point is that they played the sports at an elite level prior to playing it professionally.

    Any great athlete can play TE in the NFL, especially if they played HS football.

    Soccer is different. Are there any players — any — who have not played soccer in college or semi-professionally that have been able to break in with an MLS team?

    Look, to make this parallel to Sanders or Bo Jackson, as some are trying to — Chad Johnson would have to be a 22 year old right now who had been splitting his time at Akron between pairing up top with Darlington Nagbe on the soccer pitch and being all-MAC as a wide receiver for the Zips football team.

    THAT is a scenario I could get behind. That is credible as far as transitioning into MLS as a two sport star.

    This, where he played soccer 15-20 years ago at the high school level, is a publicity stunt. Anyone who treats it as a plausable trial is being ignorant of that difference. Sorry, but I’m calling a spade a spade here.

  145. Judging Amy says:


  146. Kevin says:

    Don’t you realize that basketball and football are two sports that are based, at least on the professional level, almost entirely in athleticism?

    Especially compared with football, soccer requires SO MUCH more skill and inteligence (aside from maybe the point guard and quarterback). Not to mention stamina. I think it’s an insult to MLS that this guys thinks he can actually do it.

  147. Seriously says:

    Bo Jackson and Neon Deion were multi sport athletes all through college so translation to the pros wasn’t a stretch like Ocho Cinco to MLS from the NFL after not playing since Middle School.

    I’m not saying this is horrible though. Who cares what anti-MLS people say…they are anti-MLS people nothing MLS does will go over with them. If they guy has some hidden touch to go with his speed then this won’t be the worst idea ever if not he give MLS some time in mainstream media.

  148. KFree says:

    “The NFL is all about athleticism, little about skill or intelligence outside of the defensive backfield and quarterback positions.”

    Um, you are sincerely wrong about this. athleticism can hide/make up for some sportIQ, but that is prevalent in all sports, including soccer. I don’t care what position you refer to in the NFL, there is a whole heck of a lot of skill and IQ that goes into it.

    Without it, guaranteed you will, 1. not make it to the NFL; 2. blow a couple assignments, reads, or routes and said player will find himself on the bench and then on waivers shortly thereafter.

  149. Judging Amy says:

    Fair enough. But even if he sucks, then he won’t make the team right?

    How is that bad for MLS? At worst its a waste of time. Not a tragedy. At best, some people see that even a top top level athlete can’t just come in and play with MLS guys.

    I frankly think its misguided to put too much stock into protecting MLS’ rep from people who are going to hate regardless.

  150. Brad says:

    I was born in cincinnati, so I have come to expect nothing less. At least i escaped ohio after under-grad

  151. Kevin says:

    This is exactly what I hate about the US. People think we would be better than France, Spain, and the other greats of the world if only our NFL and NBA stars played soccer. In the past decade, who have been two of the most celebrated soccer players in the history of the game? Zinedine Zidane and Lionel Messi. Do you think those guys could make it to the NFL or NBA? Ha, yeah right.

    Landon Donavon would still be the best player in our MNT pool even if some of those guys had tried plying their trade in the real football world instead of throwball. Soccer is so much more of a mental than physical game compared to those two sports that it’s unfair to say the athletic freaks of those two leagues (NFL and NBA) would make us better.

  152. Brian says:

    Wow. People need to chill the eff out. In all likelihood Chad Johnson does the 4 day trial, and doesn’t get picked up. Then all you MLS fans with an inferiority complex can circle jerk each other and say “Hurray! See! See! We proved Jim Rome and the haters wrong! MLS is a real league! It takes skill to play here!”

    I love MLS and the Galaxy, and I’m not really concerned what American non-soccer fans (like Jim Rome), American Eurosnob soccer fans, or Europeans, think about our league. It’s our league and I’m going to support it no matter what. It may not be the best league in the world, but it’s getting better and better every year. And I’ve never been as excited for the start of the season as I am right now.

    Anyways I think this Chad Johnson tryout is pretty cool. Clearly SKC is trying to drum up some real interest this season. And guess what! It’s working! I’m curious to see how he does. He’s got the speed and body type (may be a little too heavy in the upper body though) to play soccer, and I’m sure his touch can’t be much worse than Marvell Wynne’s or Eddie Johnson’s. LOL.

  153. DCUPedro says:

    The NFL did not at that time (or ever) have a bunch of American football fans in their country who preferred to watch some foreign American football league instead of the NFL because they considered it a joke.

    MLS has one challenge right now — one thing that seperates it from being a gold mine. There are literally hundreds of thousands of soccer fans, maybe millions, in this country that spend their time and money following foreign leagues because they can’t take MLS seriously. We mock them here as Eurosnobs, but we can’t be so dismissive. MLS simply can’t get where they want to be as a league without them.

    EVERY move like this is a brand management disaster, and harkens back to the league’s early days of 5-second run-up penalty shootouts after every match.

    This will be seen by soccer fans as a joke. And its soccer fans we need to be a great league, not a doomed effort to attract american football fans.

    And yes, some of us who have invested a lot of time and money in this sport since its creation do have strong opinions when people cheapen its image.

  154. DCUPedro says:

    This post was a response to below.

  155. Kevin says:

    Too bad you’re given a playbook to memorize all of that stuff. Doesn’t require the creativity that soccer does, does it?

  156. Brian says:

    Sebastian Janikowski to the San Jose Earthquakes!

    A lot of NFL kickers are really unathletic folks though. Not very fast.

  157. Dan says:

    “Not sure why this irks me so much. Frustration going. Going…….Gone.”

    Neither do the rest of us.

  158. Dan says:


    The over sensitive reaction and defensive of American soccer fans only gives the people attacking it more ammo.

  159. KFree says:

    as much as you and others are making about the level of ignorance at how difficult it would be to pick up soccer at an elite level. you show the same level of ignorance with regard to the skill and sportIQ it takes to play basketball or football at a pro level. nba and nfl based almost entirely on atheleticism? Complete garbage.

  160. dk says:


    People who are freaking out about this need to explain how this is going to be such an unmitigated “disaster”.

    Either 1) he gets cut, people realize the MLS requires actual skill to play in, and the story fades away, or

    2) he somehow makes the team and brings a lot of attention to soccer as the first high profile american athlete to cross over to our great sport.

    (FYI, I would bet a LOT of money that he either gets cut or never sees significant time on the pitch)

  161. Jeff says:

    Marvell Wynne is a great athlete and he played a lot more soccer than Chad has. Would you call him a good MLS player? I would not.

  162. Detroit! says:

    Oh come on. I love soccer, coach and play it, and like everyone on this site have the deepest respect for how difficult it is to play at all, much less to play it well.

    But the idea that the NFL or NBA are only about athleticism and not intelligence and skill is just silly. Have you ever looked at an NFL playbook? Even the linemen have amazingly complicated jobs.

    It’s meaningless and self-righteous to claim soccer’s the toughest sport to learn, but even if it is tough, what about hockey? Golf? Hell, even auto racing? Any of those sports could lay claim to being harder to learn, and what would it mean in the end? Nothing.

    Soccer’s a great game. Soccer will survive Chad Johnson and Jim Rome and the NFL. No need for you to be so defensive.

  163. Nick says:

    easy bro. Last I checked that hadnt signed him to a contract. Having a look at a world class athlete with no obligation to sign him has no down side. If he cant cut it, he wont, if he can, then great, the MLS gets a recognizable face with an outgoing personality, that can also play.

  164. KFree says:

    ok, so every soccer player is the creative type? 1, yes football has playbooks, but you still have to execute while the opposing teams is stopping you. 2, there is plenty of creative expression while you’re running a play or a scheme…that’s where skill and and sportIQ comes into play.

  165. Mike in Missouri says:

    Every year, players (not near the athlete that Ochocinco is) make a MLS squad or reserve team from an open tryout.

    How is this different, other than the guy trying out is a bit more famous?

  166. socnow says:


    Has everyone forgotten about Michael Jordan and baseball? That was serious, or at least MJ was.

    That said, this is a total stunt (I hope).

  167. Sorry to step on your toes man. This is the article I saw.

    link to

    “Sporting KC CEO Robb Heineman is confident the stadium, which is set to open June 9, will lure many big-time events to Kansas City. The hope is that by partnering with Armstrong, who has the ear of several popular musical artists, the club can easily recoup, through concerts, the estimated $2 million to $3 million a year it gave up by giving away the stadium’s naming rights.

    “I believe we’ll have entertainers who otherwise wouldn’t have played our venue,” Heineman said.”

    Lance’s snarky comment about soccer didn’t give me a warm fuzzy either.

  168. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    “There were plenty of people that played one sport in college and two in the pros.”

    I would love to see a list of this supposed plethora of single sport college athletes that suddenly went pro in two sports.

  169. socnow says:

    F%&k off Eurosnob.

  170. Bmoney says:

    I live in seattle and play on that turf all the time… it doesnt matter if the turf is artificial or grass everyone knows in the rain of course the pitch is gonna be more slick. Quit making excuses for the league. P.S. I want Ochocinco to try out for goalie of the sounders… He would have stop that goal last night! Keller is starting to show his age

  171. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:


    But seriously… imagine if Adrian Peterson grew up playing soccer. That would have been sweet.

  172. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    If there is an MLS lockout next year, I wonder if Henry would try out for receiver on an NFL team…

  173. socnow says:

    So you preferred “The Wiz”? OK genius, what would you have named them?

  174. RedLine55 says:

    No way in hell he would do something like this and not be a striker. All other positions require too much mental strength and knowledge that comes with experience. I’m not saying that striker aren’t smart, but he can at least rely more on instinct and physicality as a striker… and nobody would tune in to watch Chad be a keeper or defender.

  175. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    I watch soccer constantly. I guess if I was a bit more athletic I could play for Barça.

  176. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    Trolling or just very stupid. I can’t tell.

  177. Brian says:

    So giving money to help fight cancer isn’t ok if it helps you land some concerts?

  178. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    He would probably have Wynne’s touch, too.

  179. socnow says:

    Oh please! 20 years? Come on… next week nobody will remember and I doubt most non-soccer fans will care.

    Michael Jordan and MLB. Go!

  180. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    “You never forget how to strike a ball.”
    Well the last time he struck a ball competitively was in middle school. Maybe those 13 year old ball striking skills have been lying dormant all these years and are just ready to unleash themselves on those poor MLSers.

  181. socnow says:

    This isn’t a serious trial. Remember, Garber was NFL Director of Marketing. KC is a big NFL town. Ocho is a attention seeker. Do the math. It’s PR.

  182. Bmoney says:

    WOW… way to show maturity! Sorry if I like to watch real talent not a bunch of second hand athletes!

    This eurosnob is out!

  183. socnow says:

    No, bad argument. MJ was serious. This a publicity stunt and I would rate the better MLS teams higher than AA.

  184. Brian says:

    they’ll probably score more goals than Seattle this year

  185. Brett says:

    He loves the game and his “trial” will bring some much needed publicity to MLS.

    The only real surprise is that Columbus rejected him (I’m assuming he went there first, seeing as his entire professional career has been spent in Ohio).

    It’s smart of him to do this now, with the NFL in limbo… because otherwise, whether a publicity stunt or not, this would be a violation of his contract with the Bengals.

    I hope he goes in and scores a few goals.

  186. DCUPedro says:

    Mike, the difference is those guys show up on tryout day for their one day open tryout.

    They are not granted four day “trials” with the club during the regular season where they will train with the first team.

    He is already being treated differently, way beyond his qualifications.

    If Chad showed up for an open tryout in January, I’d actually be rooting for him.

  187. Although it’s not the greatest nickname, I prefer Wizards to Sporting KC. It’s only the uniforms that were really crappy.

  188. Sean says:

    Sorry but your Jordan argument doesn’t exactly fly. He signed with the Sox because Reinsdorf wanted to keep an eye on him. He got rightly sent down to AA. He would have been treated the exact same had he gone anywhere else. He had talent for it, but he was rusty. Hell, Terry Francona, his minor league manager and now World Series winning manager with Boston said that if baseball didn’t strike in 95, Jordan would have made the big league squad. He just needed to knock off the rust.

  189. ANM says:

    I totally agree with Perspective. Not only is this a completely common practice, it also happens in Europe; for instance, Daley Thompson played a few games for Mansfield Town in the 90s.

    It’s just a bit of free press for the ex-Wizards.

  190. Thorpinski says:

    # 85 loves the spot light and is helping to draw interest to a sport that he likes.

    It’s great that SKC are giving him a chance to garner attention. Anyone who is seriously upset by this…here’s a hint the joke’s on you.

  191. socnow says:


    The reason MJ wasn’t cut from the Sox organization immediately was because he’s MJ. The Sox had the same owner as the Bulls. They were clearly placating him until he got back into basketball.

    Those of you who think this is serious are incredibly naive.

  192. socnow says:

    I’m with Charles. Who cares? PR stunt.

  193. socnow says:

    So the NFL sucks right? I mean, if a basketball player without much football experience can just walk right in and be a All Pro then what does that say about their quality of play? *sarcasm aimed at Eurosnobs*

  194. socnow says:


    The U.S. has over 300,000,000 people. That ought to be enough to find at least 11 good soccer players and maybe 1 or 2 world class. The “best athletes don’t play soccer” excuse is a cop out.

  195. BK says:

    “This coming from a mickey mouse league that tried to sign a middle school soccer player for cheap headlines.” = Future anthem of the Eurosnobs

  196. Brian says:

    I hope he makes the team. Just so you can really flip out!

  197. CMcAfee says:

    and another +1

  198. socnow says:

    People still listen to Rome? I remember when Jim Everett (old Rams QB) kicked his a$% on his show once… long time ago, but it was great! It’s probably on You Tube somewhere.

  199. Brad says:

    Ives: When is the last time you got 200 comments on an article not related to the USMNT?

  200. socnow says:

    I thought it was Man U? Anywho… they must suck too.

  201. socnow says:

    Are you serious? This is a PR stunt.

  202. socnow says:

    Heck, I was a decent athlete and young soccer player. So if I just watch EPL I can be in MLS too!?! Whoopee!

    You’re an idiot. Typical Flounder.

  203. The Dude says:

    Hilarious publicity stunt! Can’t wait to see some footage.

  204. Adam M. says:

    I have no problem with an MLS team giving a 4 day trial to a healthy elite professional athlete with a well-known love for soccer. And neither should you. It is difficult to imagine that he will have the tactical or technical skills at this point in his life to impress, but who cares? Don’t regular middle-age Joes spend thousands of dollars of their own money to attend fantasy camps and “play ball” with retired players. Don’t kids pretend to hit the game winning grand slam in the bottom of the ninth, hit the winning jumper, or score the winning goal? Don’t fans of every sport say things like “we” won, even though they are not a player or otherwise employed by the team? When it isn’t a business or a form of entertainment, sport is a fantasy. A pursuit of something that reflects something about who we are, what we like, what we are good at doing. A chance to feel emotional about something personal that has essentially no real-world impact compared to politics or family or religion. Chad isn’t trying out to be President or Pontiff. He will get to briefly live the dream that just about any sports fan would love to live for a few days. His celebrity will bring always needed attention to the sport he loves (and to a smaller-market team) at the start of its season. If it turns out that he is good enough to play, that is something we will all be able to judge for ourselves in due time, and then we can either embrace or criticize him or SKC based on facts. But for now, all I see is a little kid with world class athletic ability and some time on his hands living his dream. And so should you.

  205. socnow says:

    No, it makes SKC look weak from a marketing point-of-view imo… but some might disagree and think they’re scoring PR points.

  206. socnow says:

    You’re making Fulham look bad.

  207. socnow says:

    F$%k off Eurosnob. Can’t your wee brain tell the difference between reality and fantasy? This is a PR stunt.

    Again, didn’t Man U have Usain Bolt in for a “trial”? Boy that EPL, real Mickey Mouse league.


  208. SwerveZ says:

    I’m just glad Chad Johnson promotes the sport.

  209. socnow says:

    I’m not worried about Jim Rome. I’m more worried about guys like you who think this is serious.

  210. socnow says:

    SKC just pandered to the Lowest Common Denominator for a PR gimmick. Isn’t this is the team who signed the first “Indian player”.

    SKC = gimmick.

    My condolences SKC supporters.

  211. socnow says:

    Good. Enjoy watching soccer in your mother’s basement by yourself.

  212. socnow says:

    Hear what you’re saying… but who cares what the Eurosnobs think?

  213. socnow says:

    No, the MLS fans “hoping he does well” is what gives them more ammo.

  214. Kenny_B says:

    I remember that. He kept calling Jim “Chrissy”. Everett warned him and Rome didn’t listen.

    Moving away from Rome, my larger point was that mainstream sports media has been slow to embrace soccer. In my mind this only helps if Johnson’s tryout fails. It does briefly draws attention to the sport, albeit for the wrong reason.

    Sport’s journalist need to respect the game in the states (the Ive’s and Wahl’s excepted) before it can be embraced. And if a player from another sport can just walk over and pickup playing the sport at the highest professional level offered in the U.S. it doesn’t bode well for the league.

    Renoldo Nehamiah moved from track to play for the 49ers for a number of years. But the NFL was already established. Same with Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders playing baseball and football.

  215. Damis says:

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out…

    Get over yourself.

  216. oh.yeah says:

    This is a joke.. The guy said he could beat Michael Phelps at swimming. He’s making a mockery of MLS.

  217. Bmoney says:

    I will… and you enjoy jerking off to all those kelly clarkson cd’s you own!

  218. Brian says:

    I think it’s half-serious. SKC wouldn’t be doing this if it was some NFL player without the name recognition. Like I said, “clearly SKC is just trying to drum up some real interest”. I don’t believe Chad will make the team, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he had the skill of a College soccer player or a USL Pro soccer player.

  219. Brian says:

    I think that was Shaq.

  220. Rex says:

    Great, now the MLS will be creating a “NFL players allocation draft.” If he turns out to be a star, the MLS will make sure he finds his way to the Galaxy or NYRB.

  221. Gothenburg Matt says:

    I’m sorry if I offend some of you, but for my money the biggest thing that robs MLS of credibility is our fans’ constant need for approval from non-fans. What makes this move different from similar moves in other leagues is not that those leagues existed longer; it’s that so many of us seem to care what the reception will be. I love MLS. I really do. Chad Ochocinco (Johnson) making the team (which, in my wildest dreams I can’t see happening) might make a few people look down on the quality of the league. But those people were certainly already doing so, right? And that condescension has exactly zero impact on my opinion of the league. The only opinion I think we should have on this move is if it’s entertaining to us! The fans. It’s definitely interesting and entertaining to me. I’m all for it. Everybody else can go watch a different league.

  222. Kevin says:

    Ok, there is definitely some hyperbole there. The fact remains tho, PURE athleticism will take you so much further in those two sports than it will in soccer. In soccer, it’s the opposite with intelligence.

  223. ETJ says:

    and you told socnow to be mature! dude just go away

  224. Judging Amy says:

    Exactly right. There’s just no reason to get all bent out of shape about this (or whether you think 85 has a legit chance at the squad or not).

    MLS is a legit league. This tryout/publicity stunt does nothing to change that.

  225. brad guzan says:

    this is sick, hes gonna be dirty. cap him now

  226. GW says:

    The guy can play. He freaking loves the game.

  227. Lee from NYC says:

    A lot of negative comments!

    Personally, I would let him try out. Why not?

    If he makes the team, ESPN will have A LOT more coverage about the sport. There will be discussions and buzz about the sport in general.

    If he doesn’t make it, then obviously the sport is a lot harder than a lot of people make it out. ESPN would report how Ochocinco, a top level NFL player, couldn’t make a small market soccer team. “Is soccer that hard? What do you mean he couldn’t keep up? Really?”

    Didn’t Usain Bolt try out for a top euro team? Wasn’t it Real Madrid or Man U? With this in mind, are you going to tell me that both teams are “mickey mouse” teams?

    All in all the bigger discussion should be how many athletes in the big 3 leagues in the US would’ve played soccer had there been the infrastructure and money to be able to make a choice.

    A lot of these athletes know that they’re athletic ability and skill is a temporary thing that can be ended with injury and certainly with age. With that in mind, most of them make the decision on which sport will give them the most money, fame, success and happiness before they can no longer perform in an elite level.

    That’s what, in my humble opinion, this is about. Imagine if Ochocinco (or whatever his name is now) and other elite athletes had grown up with a top level soccer league in the US that paid relatively close to what they get paid now.

    Like they say, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

  228. Emerald_City_Jason says:

    You play on Qwest’s field “all the time”? Pray tell just how you pull that off..

  229. abc says:

    So for those of us who hate ESPN, can someone provide an update? Was the MLS – Ochocinco story mentioned on any of their TV shows today?

    Sportscenter? Jim dbag Rome? SportsNation? Around the Horn? Pardon the Interruption?


  230. socnow says:

    OK, Euro super fan… who is your favorite Euro team? Let’s see if I can guess. Hmmmm. If you’re like most Eurosnob kooks it’s probably Barca, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Man U, Bayern Munich, et al… you know, great teams and worth watching for sure… but also the Euro teams most heavily marketed to people like you.

    If you’re into somebody else, that’s good for you. You’re a little bit different. But I bet you’ve got your little Euro team scarf and jersey – like you’re actually one of their true supporters – and you settle in for ESPN or FSC Euro telecasts – by yourself, most likely – like those teams actually give a damn about your pathetic “support”. Congrats! You’re a useful idiot.

    You don’t like MLS. But some people do. If you don’t want to support your local team or the league, that’s your choice. But don’t troll.

  231. socnow says:

    “If you call me Chris one more time… ”

    “OK. Chriiisss.”

    Table turned over… Rome falling out of his chair in fear like the little turp he is… classic stuff!

    Your other points are well taken.

  232. socnow says:

    What would that say about college players or USL Pro players?

  233. socnow says:

    Good one!

  234. socnow says:

    Agree with you up until the part about Ochocinco being entertaining.

  235. papa bear says:

    the thing a lot of people don’t understand is, it is EXTREMELY common for professional sports teams in the US to hold open tryouts every year. (in fact I think it might even be part of the deal to retain anti-trust exemptions)
    This is only news because of the name involved. It is like Master P trying out for the Hornets or Michael Jordan playing baseball.
    Everyone dogging Chad is a bit nuts. I for one want him to succeed and show a lot of skill because frankly we don’t have anyone on the National team roster who can even come close to competing with his pace. It is a well worn phrase but it is the truth: you can’t teach speed. If he has some ball skills and can strike a ball he can be dangerous quickly with his pace.

  236. socnow says:

    “I live in seattle and play on that turf all the time…”

    Are you a Seahawk? Ex-Sounder who just got, uh, “let go” yesterday?

    Just wondering…

  237. Monzon says:

    I really don’t see a downside. Let him dresss in the early round Open Cup games (and travel for the Columbus game) and at least sell tickets. If he doesn’t dress for MLS games, oh well. KC could use the publicity, and 85 will do anything for it. It’s mutually beneficial. It’s a shame the lockout wasn’t earlier, 85 would have made a big splash and sold tickets playing in friendlies.

    For those predicting an unmitigated disaster- calm down. I’m sure the league will go on without your support, and with rumors that the quality of play is bad. Outside of the 10 and under crowd, it’s not a closely-held secret that we are a couple pegs below the elite leagues so just enjoy the PR in a country that could barely care less about soccer. Outside of the kickoff game and MLS cup, how often does MLS actually show up on the news here??

    Chad Johnson may be a clown and a media whore, but point out one thing he has done that has been mean spirited. Point out a time when he has cheated. Find me a profanity filled rant. Find me fans he has blown off. Find criminal charges on him. Just because he likes the spotlight doesn’t mean he is a bad guy.

    By the way- Naming the team Sporting Kansas City, while most likely still an attempt to get “soccer cred,” actually brought multiple sports under the organization’s umbrella (Rugby and Lacrosse included I think), so it actually is a sporting club (for upper and middle-class whites) whether some wish to acknowledge that or not.

  238. Monzon says:

    I watched about five minutes of sportscenter and it mentioned this.

    That evil Chad Johnson, bringing media attention to the MLS!

  239. DeliBelly says:

    If it doesn’t work out for Chad Ochocinco in soccer, he can always try his hand at rugby — there’s a sport that an out-of-work NFL player should be able to adapt to!

  240. Pedro says:

    Cap him now! LOL

  241. Jason B says:

    Welker kicked an extra point this year for the Pats too. I remember because he was on my fantasy team.

  242. Colin Ferguson says:

    “athleticism can hide/make up for some sportIQ, but that is prevalent in all sports, including soccer”

    This is correct.

    Every sport requires a certain level of… well maybe not intelligence (I once helped a 5th year senior all-american defensive lineman at a big SEC school register for reading class). But it at least requires a mix of understanding, experience, and intuition to be successful.

    That said, there are certain athletes in certain roles whose athleticism can make up for deficiencies in those mental traits. Look at outside backs and wingers. Yes, some of them are incisive, creative, intelligent passers and movers. However, I can say pretty confidently that, for many of them, athleticism is perhaps a more important trait than guile.

    I’m just saying, there’s no reason that it would be impossible to find a place on the field for 85.

    Footnote – Why because the last time he played “organized” soccer was in middle school does everyone assume that’s still the level of sophistication he plays at? That is far from a safe assumption.

  243. RevsFan says:

    I’m crying foul, Chad was 18 when the MLS’s first season started.

    There’s no way this is a “childhood” dream…

  244. Jason says:

    JV soccer…..hardly, JV players don’t hit bombs like Juninho…….

  245. Andy says:

    I would love it if he made the team.
    1. More press and higher ratings for MLS games
    2. Good publicity for soccer, especially among African-American youth, with whom ’85’ is a well known name.

    Really, NFL – go ahead and cancel your season. The MLS will take all of the NFL athletes that can play soccer and use them for the year. The athletes will do ok, but won’t be the stars. They’ll be interviewed a lot and will talk about the skill involved in the game, the challenges, the joy of scoring goals. Even if just 1% more of out top athletes chose soccer over football/baseball/basketball because of this, it would be worth the years worth of media circus.

    Really, imagine the USMNT full of the top American athletes – the Kobes, the Reggie Bushes, the Jeters, but with those athletes having focused their energies on soccer instead of other sports.

  246. Neruda says:

    Contrast RSL with SKC. RSL is one win away from CCL Final and SKC is trying out American football players. Pretty funny. Can’t wait til RSL plays Sporting.

  247. joejoe says:

    Its great PR for the league. Ochocinco is a great athlete. So why not give him a try. Lot of fun too.

  248. Neruda says:

    I’m imagining a rather tall team, especially with basketball players.

    Well said though but I don’t think Chad J makes it. Also the NFL lockout could mean football fans turn to MLS to partially fill the void.

  249. I actually admire Chad. He also participated in Dancing With The Stars and didn’t embarrass himself. I think some of you envy his willingness to step outside of his comfort zone and risk humiliating himself in the process. Let’s all just relax.

  250. abc says:

    On what planet is Reggie Bush a top athlete in the NFL?

    Also, do all the people who make lists of “top American athletes” from other sports just mean they want more black athletes in soccer?

  251. abc says:

    “Imagine if MLS had all these NFL and NBA players who are 6’4″ 250 pounds!
    They would be the American versions of Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Sneijder… (average height 5’8″)!

  252. dk says:

    I’ve done the math. I get it. It’s PR. And it’s not some horrible disaster. That was my point.

  253. dk says:


    Taking this way too seriously. I totally agree that there’s no way he’ll be able to compete at this level. So what. It’ll be fun to watch and then it’ll be over. The only one who might be embarrassed is Johnson himself.

    Those who are saying this event will dramatically devalue the league are vastly overestimating its impact.

  254. THC says:

    Who’s afraid of a large black man? Many SBI commenters, apparently. So fickle.

  255. Hincha de Gimnasia says:

    Just watch Chad’s form on these kicks. He’s fast enough to get up front and slot a few in the back of the net if someone plays him the ball. What else do you need?
    link to

  256. Chosun says:

    Hahahahaha…that’s amazing.

  257. bryan says:

    honestly, let the guy try out. plenty of other athletes have done similar things. like someone said above, master p tried out for the hornets. if he’s good enough, then he’ll make it. if not, then he won’t. no big deal.

    the guy is a huge soccer fan and if this is his way of putting spotlight on the league, then im okay with it.

  258. mug says:

    Now we just have to get Kobe and Lebron on the pitch.

  259. Johnny Thunder says:

    I think the bigger point here is that whether it’s a stunt or not it will have at least some football fans taking a look at soccer for a short time. If it gains Sporting KC and the MLS a few more fans, what’s the harm? As long as he doesn’t make the team without earning it, I have no problem with it.

  260. Mikey says:

    Ok I guess I’ll be the guy that comes in and says I hope Ochocinco does well and gets a contract.

    Who cares if he didn’t play his entire life? We watch soccer to be entertained. If he’s entertaining, why is that offensive to some?

    If its just a publicity stunt, it’s free positive PR for MLS.

    There really is no downside here. Just sit back and watch. Grab that popcorn πŸ˜‰