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“I had that talk with grandma. We talked about what do you want to do for your career,” he said. “In that time in 1994, soccer was not the thing in the states, especially in high school. Football was the route I had to go and I put all my energy into that. With the lockout here, this is something I always wanted to do. It was her choice for me not to play soccer and now I have the opportunity to do it. It was always my No. 1 sport, my No. 1 love.”

He also said he encountered no resentment from the established players when he showed up.

“I don’t think I’m going to take anybody’s job. It’s not going to happen,” he said. “These guys have been playing this game for years and I’m trying to make the transition from football to football. To come in here and take someone’s job is pretty farfetched.”

Knowing he’ll eventually return to the Bengals when the players and owners settle their differences, Ochocinco said he would be content to just be a squad man and practice with Sporting Kansas City

“That would be fun,” he said. “When the lockout, when it does happen, or we’re able to go back and play, I’ll be in better shape than everyone else because I might be the only one training at this level.”