Ochocinco made ‘honorary’ SKC member


No Chad Ochocinco didn't earn a Major League Soccer contract, but he wasn't given his walking papers either.

After his trial with Sporting Kansas City came to an end, Ochocinco was granted the opportunity to continue working out with the club's reserve team as long as he'd like until the NFL lockout situation is resolved.

SKC coach Peter Vermes called Ochocinco an "honorary member" of the team and said that he progressed throughout the trial and was a positive influence in the team's locker room.

What do you think about Vermes' decision? Disappointed Ochocinco didn't make the first team? Think continuing to have him at practices is a good thing?

Share your thoughts below.

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69 Responses to Ochocinco made ‘honorary’ SKC member

  1. Topher says:

    I think this is a great next step for all parties involved. According to Twitter it sounds like he is headed back home to Cincy to get some things in order, then will head back to KC to continue to train (also headed to Spain for the SuperClasico in April).

    I’m holding out a little bit of hope that the lockout will continue for awhile and he’ll be able to get to a respectable enough skill level to come on for a few minutes for the SKC 1st team at the end of a blowout. I know that’s optimistic of me but I think it would be huge publicity for SKC/MLS.

  2. John says:

    Have they started selling the jerseys yet?

  3. Tim says:

    A Sporting Kansas City blow out?

    That is a bit optimistic.

  4. Clayton says:

    They need to. Glad for Chad and SKC. He needs to bring some of his NFL buddies out on the field to see what they’re made of.

  5. Josh D says:

    Seemed like the plan all along – a win/win situation.

    Let’s see an NBA strike now so we can get Steve Nash out on the pitch!

  6. eRic gheimer says:


  7. Alex says:

    great idea, but they wouldn’t be able to do that without wasting a roster spot on him. not likely to happen, unfortunately.

  8. Alabamafutbol says:

    I am pleased.

  9. Chris says:

    I always thought he came off as a jerk but I have to say I’m impressed with how he has handled this opportunity. He’s been very humble.

    He obviously loves the game and has said good things about soccer and soccer players as athletes. As long as he’s not a distraction then letting him train with the reserves seems like a win for him, the team and the league.

  10. dan says:

    Agree! Steve Nash would probably make the Vancouver team : )

  11. KJ says:

    It’s good that they don’t reject the publicity stright out but if he was able to basically walk off the football field and onto the soccer pitch wouldn’t say too much about the MLS’s levely of play. This works and if he bring some ochocinco fans to follow mls when there’s nothing to do in august. i’m okay with that

  12. John says:

    My starting 11 of non-soccer athletes:
    Lebron (NBA)
    Kobe (NBA)
    Nash (NBA)
    Tony Parker (NBA)
    Ochocinco (NFL)
    Rafa Nadal (Tennis)
    Andy Roddick (Tennis)
    Sergio Martinez (Boxing)
    Joe Calzaghe (Boxing)
    Camilo Villegas (Golf)
    Usain Bolt (Track)

  13. Brokenbil says:

    Sounds like a good resolution to me. It’s a good way for him to stay fit and a little like fantasy camp.

  14. JoeW says:

    I think this is a good thing. For starters, it doesn’t diminish MLS (guy who hasn’t played since HS walks on and is now on the “professional” team…what would that say to the casual observer?). While I think he’s be a **** as an NFL player and teammate, he seems to have his heart and head in soccer (his work and behavior seems to indicate that). I think it’s certainly going to get some decent press for MLS (especially if the impasse continues within the NFL). I don’t hold out any hope of him getting onto the field of a first team match. But if he played regularly in reserve games, that would bring cameras, fans and coverage.

  15. Smacking says:

    Far and away the best handled publicity stunt I’ve ever seen. That goes for all involved. When I heard about this I immediately rolled my eyes and imagined how quickly this would all become an embarrassment for all involved. Congrats to SKC and Ocho for having some fun while maintaining the dignity of the game.

  16. COCaribou says:

    And bring Hakeem out of retirement to play in goal. What, he is the same age as Jens Lehmann right?

  17. Tennis Man says:

    Nadal, sure. But Andy Roddick? Surely there are better choices on the ATP tour.

  18. patrick says:

    i don’t care what he does, I just don’t want to hear about it anymore

  19. Clayton says:

    You definitely need some NHL players on that team. I feel like they would have the best sense of positioning of all the other sports. Plus most of the Canadians play soccer anyway.

  20. BJ's are the best says:

    The dude is terrible.

  21. Babieca says:

    Well they do get to play Toronto twice this year.

  22. Powderhorn Pops says:


  23. Powderhorn Pops says:

    Sweet Calzaghe….what position? Holding mid?

  24. r.benjamin says:

    Dennis Rodman in his prime as goalkeeper since age 4. Are you kidding me? The worm woulda been the best that ever lived.

    I think the best woulda been soccer players are running backs, point guards and off guards.

    Re Ocho Cinco. Why the heck not huh.

  25. COCaribou says:

    And I would want Carlos Gonzalez as my left back.

  26. Jason B says:

    Quotes like this are good publicity for the game:

    “Playing with these guys on this type of level …” Ochocinco said … “People don’t understand … I understand because I understand the game, but I’ve been away from it so long, how good these guys really are. To be able to stay out here and practice with them until the lockout gets resolved … I’ll be in ridiculous shape.”

    That’s from the linked article in the post.

  27. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    It’s a crying shame if they haven’t.

  28. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    Roddick? Federer could have gone pro in soccer, fyi.

  29. Jason B says:

    Yes, I watched the part of the game in which he played in yesterday. His crosses were really bad and he looked dead tired after 15 minutes or so. His positioning was pretty bad and he hardly made any runs. But what did people expect?

  30. Paul C says:

    Would’ve been better PR if he got cut.

  31. MrTuktoyaktuk says:

    ^ You nailed it. SKC handled this about as perfectly as it could be handled.

  32. dutchtwista says:

    can you or anyone point to any actual jerk-like past behavior? CJ’s always been flamboyant on & off-field but that doesn’t make him a jerk. There’s a difference btwn a CJ who has a gift for self-branding and media manipulation, and a guy like say Deion Sanders, who is just an a**hole of the highest order. I feel like a lot of the hate CJ gets is just stereotypes and projected negativity from other NFL/pro athlete’s bad behavior.

  33. Mike says:

    I think it kind of makes a joke of Sporting KC. Watching the highlights on Sportscenter, it’s clearly apparent that he doesn’t belong. While I have been impressed with his attitude and behaviour, there are thousands of better players out there who deserve a chance like this.

  34. Jason B says:

    But, would those thousands of other better players help the team sell jerseys or bring in extra clicks to the team’s website or just promote awareness of the team in the local community? Probably not, and that’s why he gets this chance.

  35. Lee from NYC says:


  36. Thorpinski says:

    Manny Pacquaio would be the Messi of the team. The pac man is relentless and un stoppable

  37. Thorpinski says:

    Neon Deon Sanders would hava been the best back in the history of Soccer had he played and Barry Sanders would have been Messi.

    Others Darrel Green, Ronnie Lott at CB, Walter Payton, Jerry Rice, Ty Lawson.

  38. yankiboy says:


    I agree with you. I have never considered him a “bad” guy.

    I think some people get confused with the PT Barnum grandstanding. He’s making the most of the window that he has. His style isn’t for everybody.

    Doesn’t make him a bad guy.

  39. nico says:

    Not sure who is more in more awestruck, Ocho of his KC teammates’ skills OR Vermes/SKC of Ocho’s celebrity status.
    Seems absurd to me that he was ever even given a ‘trial’, they should have just let him train from the get go, with no pretensions of a formal trial. Seems like any pro athlete (non-soccer) can qualify for a trial now…so long as they call it the “beautiful game”.

  40. Jonathan says:

    I would also take Manu Ginobili and Allen Iverson in his prime. Iverson is probably the quickest athlete I have ever seen and was about the right height for soccer.

  41. Eric says:

    I think this is great…Ocho seems like a really cool and respectful guy.

  42. Knuckles says:

    And Portland.

  43. yankiboy says:

    Bro, with all due respect. I know that I called it “shamless” and “lame”. But “joke” seems really harsh.

    They are called “Sporting KC”.

    They used to be called the “Wiz”.

    They should be used to be clowned by now…

    Like isn’t fair. Sure a lot of other guys are more “deserving” based on talent. But like Jason B. stated, he Mr. 8 6 brought something to the Wiz, uhm SPorting KFC table.

    No blood was spilled.

    I actually got won over by the way that Mr. 8 5 and KC handled it (I’m not too proud to admit that fact).

  44. Brent McD says:

    I watched part of the game yesterday, and he was really bad. In fact, right at the end he tried to dribble out of the corner, and the fullback was actually laughing while defending.

    Still, kudos to SKC for the publicity stunt.

  45. Tyrone says:

    Agreed. Though he’d be more like Bradley Jr. The tireless one on the pitch.

  46. Matt says:

    too damn funny.

  47. Tyrone says:

    I’m saying this as a fan of Ginobili, but his flopping would be perfect for soccer.

  48. BellusLudas says:

    Kudos to SKC Front Office…they managed this opportunity in the best possible fashion. Great to see bright bulbs at work!

    As a Rapids Fan this is killing me! :-)

  49. BK says:

    What a joke. I invite everyone to go back to the first blog on this subject from last week and re-read any comments I made there.

  50. KC fan says:

    Teal Bunbury, Omar Bravo, Kei Kamara, CJ Sapong, Davy Arnaud, Ryan Smith. You don’t think KC will blow out some teams with this offensive lineup when healthy? Yes, we are optimistic in KC. I’m sure there are more than a few fans who would love to have half of these guys on their team.

  51. lurking says:

    Do we have to?

  52. sporks fan says:

    He was bad, which is why he wasn’t offered a contract. However, the players like having him around, so no harm done with him sticking around. Would love to see him give an interview with ESPN on June 9 and FSC on June 17.

  53. TommyH says:

    Didn’t the Melrose Place actor Andrew Shue play for an MLS team the first year or two? I consider that a little more embarassing. Not a big pointy ball fan, so I was suprised what a gentleman he has been with his gracious comments and all.

  54. Jon says:

    85 is a legit dude. I’m not way into the NFL, but I have liked his attitude for a long time. I get the sense he just wants to have a good time, but also to play hard. If you were not planning on playing hard, you couldn’t have planned to score a TD and celebrate like he does. He sort of took the goal celebration style to the NFL.

    Maybe I will get an Ochocinco 85 SKC jersey just for fun.

  55. Hans says:

    Iverson in his prime woulda been a great crossover.

  56. Zoti says:

    I agree with your observation but seeing 85 dribble the ball made me wanting to gouge my own eyes out.

  57. CD says:

    An “Ocho Cinco” SKC jersey will be far and away the team’s best seller. I think this has been a brilliant PR move by everyone involved.

  58. biebs says:

    That’s a little different. Shue was an all-american in college and played professionally in Zimbabwe (Admittedly, not the top league in Africa) and (according to Wikipedia so I don’t know the details) practiced with Queens Park FC in Scotland.

    That’s a world of difference than a guy who played High School Soccer.

    That being said. I don’t see the harm in what Chad Johnson’s “trial” I don’t think anyone was kidding themselves into thinking he was going to make the team.

  59. Brent McD says:

    Didn’t some Duke basketball player actually get a call-up to the USMNT?


  60. Brit says:

    haha well played

  61. r.benjamin says:

    If people remember Skeets Nehemiah.. one thing The one thing this tryout validated was that it’s easier to suddenly pick up the NFL game than it is the MLS game.

    I invite any All Star in any sport to tryout and be an honorary captain.

  62. paul says:

    I don’t really care, I just thought the days of MLS pulling these type of publicity stunts was over. I guess that was wishful thinking…

  63. abc says:

    You really have an inflated sense of worth don’t you

  64. Bohawk says:

    Shue can still play it wasn’t a joke at all.

  65. j-ro says:

    Ginobli is from freaking Argentina. I’m pretty sure if he had the same talent for soccer that he has for basketball, he’d be playing soccer.

    This has been discussed ad nauseum, but not all of these guys would automatically be great just because they can play bouncyhoop or gridiron. Ginobli is probably a great illustration of that.

  66. TommyH says:

    Coach K for Bradley?

  67. Bill says:

    Watching Ochocinco strike a ball was painful. I was hoping that he had some technique and skill. His skill level was compareable to what I see in average club soccer twelve year-olds (and that is being generous). I can’t believe anyone thinks he has any ability. Vermes must go home and laugh. I guess any publicity is good, but this is silly.



  69. Ben says:

    Since his income has been more than that of the entire SKC team, he has been welcomed to come back, train, and buy everybody dinner!