Over the years many an American soccer supporter has rued the elite athlete who eschewed a promising career for another sport (Chad Johnson, Jarrett Payton), while other sports have watched as freakish athletes earned tryouts with teams in other sports (Tony Meola, Antonio Gates).
So why is it so hard to believe that the world’s fastest man could suit up for his country during CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 World Cup?
Usain Bolt told us he was a “very accomplished player” after his performance in the 2012 Summer Olympics, where he blazed a 9.68 time in the 100-meter dash. After all, that fast man is 6-foot-5 and posted this Instagram message captioned “anything is possible.”
And it seems Jamaica coach Winfried Schafer isn’t laughing it off.
“I heard from Puma, the Puma boss, (Bjorn Gulden, CEO). He said he (Bolt) played many times on the small team and he’s not bad.
“But we can make him better. When he has good training with our team here in Jamaica, we can make him a very good player. He’s very fast, that’s clear, but when he learns with the ball then he’ll be one of the best players.
“This is our goal. Maybe after the Olympics in Brazil (2016), I want to see him here in our training, that is what I want to tell him.”
In case you’re wondering, Schafer isn’t a lunatic and has a resume. He had a nearly two-decade career as a midfielder for clubs including Borussia Monchengladbach and managed Stuttgart as well as Cameroon, leading the latter to the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations.
Jamaica is a team that didn’t win a single match in the Hex, though they do have some intriguing strike prospects in Deshorn Brown (Colorad0), Darren Mattocks (Vancouver), Theo Robinson (Doncaster) and 17-year-old DC United youngster Michael Seaton.
There’s a huge X factor here: what if Bolt has some semblance of skill? What if he has a close-to-average shot and a passable first touch? I don’t even have to write that the dude is fast, big and strong. Would you close the door on a 6-foot-5 striker with world class speed before you witnessed him for a bit?
I guess I’m saying that it isn’t absolutely bonkers… at least not yet.