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Sporting notes: Ochocinco in the house

By TOD PALMER
The Kansas City Star

Ochocinco makes an appearance

Lance Armstrong wasn't the only celebrity on hand for the opener. Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, who tried out with Sporting Kansas City in March, attended the inaugural game and sat with ownership in the front row of club seating.

Fans cheered midway through the first half as Ochocinco was shown on the videoboard. He responded by flashing fans the peace sign.

Kansas City jazz legend Ida McBeth sang the national anthem.

Former coach Ron Newman, who was the first coach hired in Major League Soccer, also was in attendance.

Fan disrupts play

Play was stopped briefly late in the game when a man dressed in a spotted-cow suit ran on the field and sprinted from the west end of the field to the east. When he neared the Chicago goal, he pulled out a soccer ball, dropped it to the ground and kicked it past Chicago goalie Sean Johnson.

The “goal” drew a huge cheer.

Remarkably, the man ran on the field for about a minute before he was grabbed by security, which didn’t make much of an effort to catch him.

The man was then knocked to the ground, which drew boos, and it appeared he was handcuffed before being taken from the field.

Chicago fans in the house

The 70 members of Section 8 Chicago, an umbrella group for fans of the Fire who made the trek to Livestrong Sporting Park, were greeted in a special way by members of the Cauldron.

Sporting Kansas City's supporters followed the Fire fans to their seats, chanting, “Put out the fire."

“We try to have a presence at every game,” said Giaco, the Chicago group's self-described leader, who refused to give a last name.

At least one Chicago fan had good things to say about the new stadium.

“It's unique,” said Ricky Corcoles said. “It's different than any other stadium I have been to in the league.”

New stadium, new mascot

Sporting KC unveiled a new mascot to go with its new stadium.

Blue -- a Weimaraner because the breed's blue eyes match Sporting KC's light blue color scheme -- replaced Dynamo the Dragon.

Halftime jersey swap

Omar Bravo, who received the loudest ovation when he was introduced and anytime he touched the ball, took part in a seemingly new soccer tradition.

At halftime, Bravo, a forward who wears No. 99, swapped jerseys with Fire defender Yamith Cuesta, who dons 89.

Traditionally, the jersey swap is done after the game as opposed to halfway through it.

Safety first

Had severe weather threatened Livestrong Sporting Park, a plan was in place to get fans to safety.

Sporting Kansas City spokesman Dave Borchardt said an announcement would have been made on the public address system in the event of a weather emergency directing fans to take cover in restrooms or under the seats in one of the stadium's five clubs.

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