National Football League
Ochocinco to play in soccer match
National Football League

Ochocinco to play in soccer match

Published Mar. 25, 2011 1:00 a.m. ET

NFL star Chad Ochocinco's tryout with Major League Soccer club Sporting Kansas City will continue to Monday when the team holds a reserve match.

According to the Kansas City Star, the Bengals wide receiver impressed coach Peter Vermes in his second day of workouts on Thursday. The tryout was originally slated to end for Ochocinco on Saturday, and many observers speculated that he would not last more than one day.

Though Vermes all but admitted that Ochocinco will not make the team, he said the six-time NFL Pro Bowler showed marked improvement from his first day on Wednesday.

"First off, (the game at this level is) definitely above him," Vermes told on Thursday.


"And it's something that's maybe a little surprising to him, how fast the game is and how athletic and technical the guys are with the speed of play. ... I won't say I didn't expect it. I knew this was going to be a little of a long shot for him. I haven't made all my conclusions -- he'll be back (Friday) and will train Saturday -- but these guys (on Sporting) have been doing it every day on a regular basis."

Ochocinco, in a video posted Thursday on the team's website, said he is "not delusional" that he will be able to stick with the club, but said he's "having fun."

"It takes extreme skill to play at this level. ... I have (enhanced) respect for the game and what they're able to do. I think people need to understand: An elite athlete like myself, it takes more than just being athletic to come play at a level like this."

Ochocinco hit back Thursday through Twitter at critics who have accused him of using the tryout as another publicity stunt, including Packers tight end Jermichael Finley who called him a "clown."

"(Shout out) to everyone who has a negative opinion pertaining to me. And (shout out) to me for consistently being able to NOT GIVE A (expletive)!", he tweeted.

The 33-year-old, who grew up playing soccer in Miami, said he wanted to use the lockout as an opportunity to fulfill a "childhood dream" of playing professional soccer.


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