Sporting KC asks Ochocinco to stay for further evaluation

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco caught a break.

His budding soccer career, which even he admits is a long shot, was extended to include a practice game with a Major League Soccer team.

Ochocinco: I'm eating humble pie

Chad Ochocinco took a big step forward in the second day of his tryout with Sporting Kansas City, but

he admitted Thursday he's

"not delusional" about his chances. More...

Sporting Kansas City asked the six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver to play in their reserve team's Monday game against a local squad.

Ochocinco, who says he actually preferred soccer until he was persuaded to entirely focus on football after the 10th grade, began a four-day trial with the MLS team on Wednesday in part as a way to stay fit and keep busy during the NFL lockout. The Bengals star admitted he was rusty after so many years away from the game.

Ochocinco seemed nervous and a bit out of shape on his first day, but a Sporting spokesman said the receiver appeared much more comfortable during his second practice.

On Monday, Ochocinco can be nervous all over again: He will play the right forward position against the Kansas City Brass, a minor-league team.

"This is not unusual," Sporting team spokesman Dave Borchardt said. "They like for trialists to have a chance to play in at least one game, a chance to be evaluated even further. It's the same opportunity that is given most trialists."

Never one to avoid the spotlight, Ochocinco admitted this week that once football owners and players work out their differences, he'll be back running pass patterns for the Bengals. But he also insisted he is sincere in wanting to play soccer.

"There a lot of people who question how serious I am about it," he said. "But for those who know me, who know my background, this is where it all started."

Ochocinco also said he would play for free.

"I'm pretty much set for a while," he said.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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