Chad Ochocinco started his professional soccer career today in Kansas City. But there’s a good chance that career lasts all of four days (which is how long Ocho’s tryout with MLS franchise Sporting Kansas City lasts).
From The Associated Press:
Ochocinco began his four-day trial on Wednesday with Sporting Kansas City, moving fluidly on the field on a cold, blustery day. More than 40 media members were on hand to watch the locked-out NFL player, who spent much of the morning getting individual instruction from assistant coach Zoran Savic.
One of theScore.com’s top soccer minds, Sean Keay, watched the first session online. Here’s Keay’s official scouting report:
Chad started the day with a bunch of conditioning drills where he was just like any other player. He seemed to be taking everything serious and was not joking around.
They then got into ball work where they would weave in and out with three players passing the ball at half speed just to get a touch of the ball. He looked as good as the professionals doing so, he had a decent first touch on the ball and it looked like he had been doing it for years. Occasionally he would make a slight bad touch, but his recovery was fine and it is expected because he did look a tad nervous.
They then took him away from the team as they are prepping for a game against the Chicago Fire on Saturday, so he was working on finishing (shooting on a net) with a few coaches. When at full speed, you could see his touch was a bit off and his shot was not accurate but he was finding the back of the net. It is day one, but he looked like a soccer player and someone who could play at a decent level.
The problem I see with Ochocinco in the short period of time is that, even if he may have some skills that are close to the MLS level, he will lack the game speed that is needed to compete at the level. It is tough for a rookie who has been playing soccer their entire career to adjust to the game speed change from college, so for a guy who has not played at a high level for years to adjust is almost impossible. If he was to dedicate himself for a great length of time, he may be able to do the impossible, but I just can’t see him getting anything out of this.
Here’s a snippet of the workout. In it, Ochocinco proves that he can run relatively well while kicking a ball.