A feel good gesture but as suspected Chad Ochocinco failed to make the grade. Peter Vermes, Sporting KC's coach also invited the Cincinnati Bengals WR to train anytime he wanted with the reserves.
Vermes statements are revealing.
"But being out of the game for as long as he was, there's no way he could make up that time so his basic foundation for the game just is not there," Vermes said. "His first touch is what kills him."
No two things about Ochocinco's athleticism but soccer is not just about that. It is an easy trap to fall into saying Michael Vick or Terrell Owens would be great for the game and if such athletes took to soccer then the US would be a world power. Ochocinco could probably outrun and outleap Leo Messi in a head to head but Messi would run circles around him all day with the ball.
Even Didier Drogba considered an elite athlete is an exception to soccer but he would be a dime a dozen in the NFL. But Drogba does not just rely on his power to be effective, he possess a great first touch and an uncanny ability to be at the right place and time to put the ball into goal. Gary Lineker would have failed every NFL combine but his poaching instincts were impeccable. For that matter David Beckham was panned by George Best for his distinct lack of athletic ability.
"He cannot kick with his left foot, he cannot head a ball, he cannot tackle and he doesn't score many goals. Apart from that he's all right."
But everyone knows Beckham can bend the ball to the delight of physicists studying the Magnus effect. You don't have to be an elite athlete to succeed in soccer.
Soccer is one of the most visuo-spatially complex sports. In fact, it shares many parallels with basketball. It is for that reason Steve Nash would have made a fantastic soccer player if he had not chosen to become one of basketball's pre-eminent point guards. Nash regularly highlights his previous exposure to soccer as being instrumental in enhancing his basketball skills. So does Paul Parker, Dirk Nowitzki, and Manu Ginobili.