Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen came within 10 minutes of a shutout despite being hit in the head by an object thrown from the stands in a game against the Portland Timbers. Nielsen was struck by a piece from an Omar Bravo bobblehead doll, one of thousands given away to fans in attendance. The Danish keeper laid on the field for 4 minutes but was able to continue after being checked out by medical personnel.
Two people were arrested.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco has had his soccer career extended to include a practice game with the Major League Soccer team Sporting Kansas City. They have asked the six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver to play in their reserve team’s game on Monday against a local squad.
Ochocinco, who says he actually preferred soccer until he was persuaded to focus entirely 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. He will play the right forward position against the Kansas City Brass, a minor league team.
“This is not unusual,” 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.”
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco is set for a four-day tryout with Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer starting Tuesday. 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 and uses a soccer ball to warm up for NFL practices and games.
“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 Livestrong cancer foundation and MLS Sporting Kansas City have agreed to a unique six-year naming-rights deal for the club’s new $200M stadium, set to open June 6. Sporting Kansas City will donate a percentage of all sales at Livestrong Sporting Park to the foundation, which will not pay a fee to the club. Sporting Kansas City President Robb Heineman estimates the club could donate between $8-10M to the foundation over the six-year partnership.
Heineman said, “It’s either groundbreaking or it’s crazy, and there will be people to call (the relationship) both. What we’re trying to do is more than just have a soccer team and a soccer stadium. We want to be part of the social fabric of the community.”
The stadium sits 10 miles west of downtown Kansas City and it seats 18,500 for soccer games and 25,000 for concerts.