OCHOCINCO reacClimates to soccer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Locked out of his NFL job, Chad Ochocinco opened a four-day tryout with Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday, and by the end of his first day with the Major League Soccer team the star Bengals receiver was panting for breath.
"Exactly what I expected," said the six-time Pro Bowl player, who gave up soccer after 10th grade. "I would be a little winded being that I haven't ran at this pace or this level since the end of our season of football. It was fun. I didn't expect to come in here and be Superman."
He moved fluidly and was taller than almost all the pro soccer players. Wearing No. 85, Ochocinco's athleticism was obvious, but so was his soccer rust.
"He was a little bit hesitant early on, a little bit tentative," coach Peter Vermes said. "But I think now he's got a good feel for what a day goes like for us. You can see he's very coachable."
Ochocinco knows he won't take anyone's job, but he hopes to be a squad man and practice with the team. "That would be fun," he said.
Clijsters to skip events in Japan
Kim Clijsters, the second seed at the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, plans to avoid Japan over radiation fears since an earthquake and tsunami crippled a nuclear plant there.
Clijsters said she wouldn't go to the WTA events in Tokyo in September nor Beijing in October.
"It's heart-wrenching to see what they're going through right now," she said in a statement released by the WTA. "Of course the health and safety of anyone traveling to a potentially impacted area is my top priority as well as the WTA's."
Radiation has seeped into vegetables and the water supply.
Ericsson Open: Juan Martin del Potro, who has jumped from 257th to 51st in the men's rankings in his return from a right wrist injury, advanced to the second round in Key Biscayne after beating Ricardo Mello 6-4, 6-4.
Davis Cup: The United States' quarterfinal vs. Spain will be played July 8-10 in Austin, Texas, where Andy Roddick lives and the U.S. team is 4-0.
Ex-coach Buddy Ryan faces cancer again
Former NFL coach Buddy Ryan is battling cancer for a third time, his son, Rex, told the New York Daily News. The Jets coach did not say what type of cancer his father has, but he said it wasn't melanoma, which Buddy has beaten twice before.
Jets: Receiver Jerricho Cotchery said he played last season with a herniated disc and had back surgery Feb. 3, ESPNNewYork.com reported. Cotchery expects to be ready for camp if the labor dispute ends.
UFL: The fledgling Virginia Destroyers of the United Football League hired former NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer to replace Jay Gruden as coach. Gruden, the former Storm quarterback who was the Florida Tuskers coach before it ceased UFL operations, will be Bengals offensive coordinator.
College football: USF sophomore Marcus Shaw suffered what's believed to be a broken thumb during practice, leaving three healthy scholarship running backs. Shaw is expected to meet today with a hand specialist to determine the severity of the injury. … A University of Iowa investigative committee said the team should scrap an intense workout that left 13 players hospitalized, conceding that whatever triggered their injuries remains a mystery. The report clears the players, trainers and coaches of wrongdoing, saying past workouts were without injuries. The January workout led to players being diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, which breaks down muscle cells and discolors urine. Athletic director Gary Barta said he will move forward with the committee's 10 recommendations.
Greg Auman, Times staff writer; Times wires