It sounds like Chad Ochocinco (formerly Chad Johnson) is ready to put football and the NFL behind him and aim for the other football and the MLS in front of him, perhaps as a goalkeeper. This will be Ochocinco’s second foray into professional soccer, but he says he’s “dead a** serious” that he wants to give soccer a go as a full-time job.
TMZ is reporting that the former wide receiver tried out for Sporting Kansas City in 2011 during the NFL lockout, and he was even able to play in a game, but ultimately the team took a pass. Ochocinco tried to go back to professional football after leaving the NFL with Canadian Football, and he played one game in the Mexican Football League.
But now Ochocinco believes his calling is as an MLS goalkeeper at age 40, and he has his eyes on David Beckham’s new team, Miami Club, which will launch in 2020 (when the former NFL player will be 42).
“I really think I can be exceptional at goalie with the proper training for the next two years. So, when Beckham has his team, I’m going to go try out for goalie. Period.”
I don't give out private stuff like that, but it's well known that Chad Ochocinco (who is nobody I know) played soccer growing up and attributes his speed to soccer. https://t.co/OQ8VdlsTAc— Jordan Older (@JordanOlder_) March 16, 2018
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, going full tilt into Major League Soccer is something that Chad Ochocinco has been toying with for some time. The wide receiver once played for the Cincinnati Bengals, so why not try out for Futbol Club Cincinnati? At this time he says he’d need to step up his cardio, but why not?
“I can play for FC Cincinnati right now w/ a little work on my cardio…”
But back in 2011, MLS coach Peter Vermes had doubts that Ochocinco could make the transition from football in the NFL to soccer, as the fitness level was a different thing.
“He has absolutely no soccer fitness at all.”
Chad admitted that he was “not even close” to being able to make the move to the MLS.
But playing goalie is a different skill set than being a field player, and fans know that Ochocinco can catch a ball in all sorts of conditions, even with much larger men coming at him. But while Ochocinco is an incredible athlete, being in his 40s might not be the optimal time to make that transition. Right now the oldest guys in MLS are around 37, with the average age on any given professional soccer team worldwide is 26.
But if David Beckham (43 and retired) is willing to give Ochocinco a shot, best of luck to the new Miami team.