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Is it that nuts to buy into Jamaica using Usain Bolt in 2018 World Cup qualifying? The coach is interested…


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.

How can Man United qualify for last 16 of Champions League?

Wayne Rooney, Manchester United FC

Heading into the their final UEFA Champions League Group B game, Manchester United hold their destiny in their own hands, but any slip-up could mean it’s Europa League on Thursday nights for Louis Van Gaal‘s men.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

The Red Devils would have advanced to the knockout stage with a victory over third-place PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday, but slumped to an ugly 0-0 draw instead.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from Man United 0-0 PSV ]

So, here’s all of the scenarios for the final matchday of the group stage, away to Wolfsburg, in which United would advance to the round of 16 advance:

  • A Man United win will see Man United finish top of Group B
  • A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV draw or loss (vs. CSKA Moscow), will see Man United finish second in Group B
  • A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV victory, will see Man United finish third in Group B
  • A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV loss, will see Man United finish second in Group B
  • A Man United loss by more than one goal, coupled with a PSV draw, would see Man United finish third in Group B
  • A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV win, would see Man United finish third in Group B

[ MORE: Champions League schedule

There are your scenarios for Man United as it’s pretty simple to break it down: Win, and they go through. Fail to win, and their fate is completely in the hands of PSV.

VIDEO: Can Leicester stun the world? Man United title favorites?

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The Foxes are top of the Premier League and are led by a surging Jamie Vardy but how long can they keep shocking the world?

With six tough games coming up between now and the start of 2016, Claudio Ranieri‘s men will be pushed to their limit but so far this season they’ve been sensational and Vardy has equaled Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record of scoring in 10-straight PL games.

[ MORE: Full PST Extra archive ]

Can he make it 11 in a row on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via Live Extra) when United visit the King Power Stadium? As for the Red Devils, they sit in second place and are just one point behind the flying Foxes’. Louis Van Gaal‘s men have certainly flown under the radar so far and our churning out wins at an impressive rate.

Jenna Corrado and I discuss that and more in the latest edition of PST Extra. Click play on the video above to see our chat in full.

Men in Blazers podcast: The Leicester fairytale goes on

Men In Blazers - Sept. 22
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Rog and Davo revel in another chapter of the Leicester City fairytale, break down Liverpool’s shock dismantling of Manchester City and discuss Arsenal’s slip against West Brom.

Listen to the latest pod by clicking play below.

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Pellegrini updates status of Joe Hart’s hamstring injury

Joe Hart, Manchester City FC
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Joe Hart was forced to leave Manchester City’s 1-0 defeat to Juventus in UEFA Champions League play on Wednesday due to a hamstring injury, which he seemed to incur while making a spectacular one-on-one kick-save late in the second half.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini confirmed after the game that Hart’s injury is indeed a hamstring issue, and went on to say that he would need further tests once the team arrives back in Manchester to determine the severity and how long, if at all, City and England’s no. 1 would be out of action.

Man City, currently third in the Premier League on 26 points, will host eighth-place Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).