A couple of quick notes from today’s Sporting Kansas City training session.
You’ve already probably heard enough about Chad Ochocinco. On the second day of his tryout, he was more involved with the team -- and was also very much improved. He assisted on a goal during an 11-v-11 session and drew an ovation from the players after showcasing his speed by tracking down an errant cross before it went out of bounds and turning it into a scoring chance.
The NFL star "scored" on an after-practice penalty kick against Eric Kronberg.
All of this was under the scrutiny of about 7 media members and the entire Sporting Kansas City office (or so it seemed). Perhaps the KC sports media is a lot like Royals fans: Show up in force for Opening Day and come back only if the weather is nice or they are promised fireworks. (I kid Kansas City, I kid.)
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Ochocinco did a lot to improve his status as a favorite amongst the players by taking them out to a Plaza restaurant last night and footing the bill.
He’s also got injury updates on Michael Harrington, Ryan Smith and Teal Bunbury.
Harrington and Smith were joined by Korede Aiyegbusi in training separately on Thursday. Also, French defender Aurelien Collin -- whom the team is trying out right now -- ran sprints and trained with an assistant coach (I think it was Zoran Savic).Impressive:
CJ Sapong is just a handful (and as he showed on a penalty attempt, a very strong shot) and Davy Arnaud is about the most-intense player I’ve ever seen in practice (berating young ‘keeper Jon Kempin to restart quicker during a 7-v-7 game because their team was losing). Also impressive: Kempin’s hands and Milos Stojcev’s first touch.
Collin wears #78. Ochocinco wears, obviously, #85. Omar Bravo is #99, Milos Stojcev is #88 and Julio Cesar is #55. Is this a high-school football team? Here’s where it gets interesting -- KC doesn’t have a No. 10. Wonder if they’re reserving it for anyone in particular?Hmmmmm, take 2:
On the field, several players call Homegrown player Kevin Ellis "Dani Alves." Big boots to fill, as Alves is one of the greatest rightbacks in the world. Well, apart from the slight physical resemblance, Ellis does sort of play like Alves (in other words, like a forward in a defender’s body).