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

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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.

VIDEO: Toivonen chips Neuer; Germany on brink of elimination

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Germany, the defending world champions, have their backs firmly pressed against the wall, less than an hour away from elimination, in just their second game of Group F play at the 2018 World Cup. As of this moment, they’re set to be eliminated with one game still to play.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.

After losing to Mexico in the opener, Joachim Loew’s side now trails Sweden in game no. 2, just shy of 45 minutes on the clock. As of right now, Mexico and Sweden (six points each) would go through to the knockout rounds, and Germany and South Korea (zero points) would go home.

Die Mannschaft were utterly dominant for the game’s first 30 minutes, holding more than 75 percent of possession, until Ola Toivonen, who scored all of two goals for Ligue 1 side Toulouse this season, got in behind the German backline and dinked the ball over the head of Manuel Neuer for the game’s opening goal.

Report: Player “coup” has Sampaoli on the outs at Argentina

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The Argentina men’s national team has been a mess for some time, with Lionel Messi retiring the last time controversy reared its ugly ahead, but this is something else.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Reports out of Argentina say manager Jorge Sampaoli has lost the team, who is now making decisions on their own ahead of their World Cup group stage finale against Nigeria.

Argentina drew Iceland in its opener before being embarrassed in a 3-0 defeat to Croatia in the second match, one in which Sampaoli’s lineup choice, tactics, and in-match decisions were skewered in the media.

Sergio Aguero was among the players to bristle at talk of the coach after the game.

This just hours after Sampaoli’s lineup to face Nigeria was “leaked” via training ground photos on Saturday.

More to come…

MLS weekend preview: Busy Saturday following the World Cup

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You won’t have to wait too long after the final World Cup game of Saturday to get more soccer.

Major League Soccer is back with a busy night of fixtures.

[ RECAP: Mexico 2-1 South Korea ]

Here are some 1-2 liners to get prepared for what’s in store.

Philadelphia Union vs. Vancouver Whitecaps — 5 p.m. ET

Carl Robinson’s rising visitors will hope the inconsistent side of the Union hits the field in Pennsylvania.

New York Red Bulls vs. FC Dallas — 6 p.m. ET

Dallas’ seven-match unbeaten run includes four-straight wins, but RBNY has not lost at home since late April.

Orlando City vs. Montreal Impact — 7:30 p.m. ET

Orlando has not gained a point of its last available 18, while Montreal is slowly finding form.

Sporting KC vs. Houston Dynamo — 8:30 p.m. ET

The Western leaders host a Houston side with a tough 1-3-3 mark away from home.

Colorado Rapids vs. Minnesota United — 9 p.m. ET

Two-win Colorado has been much better at home than away, and the Loons can’t afford to give the Rapids win No. 3 if they want to stay in the playoff picture.

Real Salt Lake vs. San Jose Earthquakes — 10 p.m. ET

Real has won six of seven at Rio Tinto, and San Jose has just two wins this season (So, MLS rules dictate this will go in the Quakes’ win column).

Seattle Sounders vs. Chicago Fire — 10 p.m. ET

The Sounders’ awful season gets a Chicago with points in five of six.

LAFC vs. Columbus Crew — 10:30 p.m. ET

Traveling across the country without Carlos Vela and beating a very solid Crew side is asking a lot of Bob Bradley‘s expansion side.


Atlanta United vs. Portland Timbers — 4:30 p.m. ET Sunday

Gio Savarese has manufactured some fine away performances for Portland, but this is a long flight and a tall ask in a possible MLS Cup Final preview.

NYCFC vs. Toronto FC — 5 p.m. ET Sunday

TFC has yet to climb back into the East’s Top Six, but will like its chances to make a statement against Patrick Vieira-less NYCFC on the postage stamp pitch at Yankee Stadium.

WATCH: Spurs’ Son scores sensational consolation goal for South Korea

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South Korea has not had a good World Cup, but the Taegeuk Warriors have a fine goal for their tournament highlight reel.

[ RECAP: Mexico 2-1 South Korea ]

Tottenham Hotspur star Heung-Min Son was frustrated by Mexico’s stifling defense for most of the day, but El Tri had little hope of stopping his stoppage time stunner.

Son took a lay-off and then used a pick into his yard of space to rip into a shot in the third minute of extra time.

South Korea must hope for Germany to beat Sweden, then for Mexico to beat Sweden while it beats Germany and builds goals for tiebreakers.

As unlikely as that is, at least Son had this moment.