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Ochocinco lands MLS tryout day after he's ordered to repay store

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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Chad Ochocinco will try to play a different kind of football during the NFL lockout.

Never short on publicity-grabbing ideas, the Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver is set for a four-day tryout with Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer starting Wednesday.

The club said Wednesday that after the tryout, it would determine whether to extend the trial period.

"We're always searching for players who can help our team and bringing in new talent," Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes said. "We know that Chad is an exceptional athlete and that he loves the sport of soccer, and he did play a lot when he was younger. We're excited to see how his skills will translate once he arrives next week and begins training with our team."

Ochocinco started playing soccer at age 4 but chose to focus on football in high school.

"Due to the NFL lockout, I'm excited to be able to follow my childhood dream of playing for a Major League Soccer team," Ochocinco said.

The reality TV star is friends with such big names in soccer as Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldinho. In January, Ochocinco visited Ronaldo, Kaka and the rest of Real Madrid's squad and was introduced to manager Jose Mourinho.

Ochocinco has said he uses a soccer ball to warm up for NFL practices and games.

Sporting Kansas City, which changed its name from the Wizards in conjunction with moving into a new stadium, opens its MLS season Saturday. It narrowly missed the playoffs last year.

Ochocinco was also in the news for a very different reason Wednesday.

Hamilton County Municipal Judge Bernie Bouchard ordered him to pay Exclusive Wear $11,717 for clothing the Cincinnati store said the player never paid for.

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The store, which is owned by AMM One Inc., said that on shopping trips in late 2008 and early 2009, the player took items including a $575 Al Wissam Bomber coat, $400 Mauri alligator shoes and $350 Laguna beach jeans but never paid for them.

Attorney Joseph Honerlaw said Wednesday the store reminded Ochocinco repeatedly that he needed to pay up before filing legal action in December. Bouchard ordered the default judgment Tuesday after Ochocinco didn't appear in court.

The ruling was first reported Tuesday by the Cincinnati Enquirer.

“My clients informed me they had given him ample opportunity to pay it and he didn’t,” Joseph Honerlaw, attorney for the clothing company, told the newspaper Tuesday.

Ochocinco, the Bengals' all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches responded via his Twitter account later Tuesday.

"I've been informed I've a 2 year outstanding balance of 11k at an urban clothing store in Cincy. I'll pay it when I return from Mars."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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