Usain Bolt Scores First Goals as Professional Soccer Player
The eight-time gold medal sprinter is on trial with the Central Coast Mariners in Australia, and didn't look too shabby in a preseason friendly.
Photo by Dan Himbrechts/EPA-EFE
Usain Bolt isn't giving up on doing unbelievable things. The retired sprinter—with eight Olympic gold medals and world records for the 100m and 200m—decided to try his hand at another passion of his: soccer. And you better believe he'll find a way to be good at that.
Bolt was linked to Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United in what seemed mostly like a PR-stunt trial period back in January. His skills didn't seem to wow anyone, but honestly, what manager wouldn't entertain the idea of a player who can run the full length of a field in 9.58 seconds?
Anyway, it seems that Bolt's stunt caught the attention of at least one team—Central Coast Mariners FC, in Australia's top-flight league. Today, as a trialist, Bolt got his first start for the side against Macarthur South West, and he had a couple of tricks up his sleeve. Namely, goals:
The first finish is pretty sublime, beating his defender to a through-ball and giving himself a pocket of space to rocket off a shot past the keeper. His second wasn't quite as tidy—coming off of a pretty egregious keeping and defending error—but he showed a fair bit of grit and determination to see the ball into the back of the net from close distance.
However, what the headlines will bury is that apparently, Bolt is still lacking in a lot of aspects. According to ESPN, the man played a pretty dreadful 45 minutes after having a real dud of a first game with the Mariners in August. His fitness is apparently pretty sharp—duh—but he's all left-footed and doesn't seem too comfortable getting the ball around defenders.
But let's not look this gift sprinter in the mouth. The Mariners have a lightning-quick striker who will automatically draw a crowd and just buried two goals in his first start. I'd say give the man a chance.