Sporting news: Ocho-sideshow and training thoughts

March 24th, 2011 by Staff

With a throng of media members in attendance, Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes put his team through the paces Wednesday in preparation for the Chicago Fire on Saturday.
Of course the spotlight shone on Chad Ochocinco — even when he was very literally a sideshow training on the side with assistant coach Zoran Savic.
My official take on the Chad Ochocinco/Ocho-sideshow: To steal a line from Mitch Hedberg, “All right, you’re a good cook … can you farm?”
Ochocinco is fast, that’s not debatable. But on Wednesday he was betrayed by a rough first touch and seemed unsure of how to use his feet (not for kicking, but for placement when controlling and positioning his body). Which just so happen to be the two skills that separate football players and futbol players. (It would be like Kei Kamara showing up at Chiefs camp to try out for wide receiver but having stone oven mitts for hands.)
Poor footwork is coachable, the lack of touch is more troubling. On a scale of 1 to 10, Ochocinco’s first touch was a 3. Robbie Findley is a 3 and Eddie Johnson a 4, to give you comparable players.
Ocho also got fairly lost during a full-field 11-v-11 scrimmage. He played right wing with Birahim Diop and Korede Aiyegbusi up top with him. (Behind him, possibly to assist and coach, was, assistant coach Kerry Zavagnin — see what I did there? — playing right back.) Ocho was part of four plays, three times he was dispossessed by first-team defender Roger Espionza.
After practice, I listened in on the press conference and he seemed not only humble but humbled. He really is taking this seriously. If it’s all a publicity stunt then he’s seems to have the entirely wrong mind-set.
Having said that, I’d still be surprised if he lasted beyond Friday.

Read more:

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment. You are free to voice your opinion but please keep it clean. Any comments using profanity will be rejected.