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Jamaica edges Panama, earns first Women’s World Cup berth (video)

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Jamaica is joining the United States and Canada as CONCACAF representatives in this summer’s Women’s World Cup in France after a thrilling 2-2 draw gave way to penalty kicks in Wednesday’s third place match at the CONCACAF Women’s Championship.

It’s a first World Cup for the Reggae Girlz, who won 4-2 in kicks.

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Jamaica held a pair of leads but allowed equalizers in regulation and extra time to push the match into kicks.

That’s when Jamaica coach Merron Gordon rolled the dice, subbing out goalkeeper Sydney Schneider in favor of Nicole McClure.

The backup saved two of four Panama attempts, and Sheyla Diaz buried her attempt to clinch a spot in France.

Panama can still qualify via a two-legged playoff with CONMEBOL’s Argentina, so there’s still hope for one of the great stories in women’s soccer (headlined by 17-year-old goalkeeper Yenith Bailey).

Usain Bolt hopeful of contract after first session in Australia

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GOSFORD, Australia (AP) — Star sprinter Usain Bolt says he passed up the chance to trial with clubs in Europe before accepting an offer to trial for a professional contract with the Central Coast Mariners in Australian football’s A-League.

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Bolt trained with the Mariners for the first time on his 32nd birthday Tuesday, taking part in light passing drills and agility tests in front of a gallery of almost 100 reporters and photographers.

He has pledged to stay with the club for an “indefinite” trial period in the hope of achieving his long-held ambition to play professional football, a year after his retirement from the track.

The eight-time Olympic champion has trialed unsuccessfully with clubs in Germany, South Africa and Norway but is optimistic of breaking through with the Mariners, who finished last in the most-recent A-League season.

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Mariners head coach Mike Mulvey said he is happy for Bolt stay with the team for a year if that is what he needs to fulfill his ambition.

Bolt said he had specifically targeted the A-League.

“We got offers from teams in Spain, France and stuff like that,” Bolt told reporters. “But for me it’d be harder because you have to learn a new language. It wasn’t in the top division.

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“Australia is somewhere I enjoy coming. This is a start and I’m really appreciative of everything the Mariners have done.”

Asked in what position he hoped to play, Bolt said he is “good at center forward but open to playing anywhere on the park.”

“I look forward to scoring as many goals as possible and bringing home the trophy,” he said. “But I’m just trying to get over the first hurdle now, that’s to get a contract.”

Las Vegas Lights keen on bringing Usain Bolt to USL

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It wouldn’t be the first time a star athlete has made the move to the United Soccer League — the second tier in the U.S. Soccer professional pyramid — however, the magnitude of the deal would transcend soccer.

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Although reported interest from Australia, Turkey and Hungary could derail a move, former Jamaican track star Usain Bolt is being courted by USL side Las Vegas Lights FC, who are currently in their first season in the league.

“Of course we have an interest in Usain Bolt. Why wouldn’t we?” said Las Vegas owner and CEO Brett Lashbrook.

“He’s the world’s fastest guy and he’s trained at some of the best clubs in the world. To come play Division 2 soccer in the U.S. actually makes all the sense in the world. This guy is an absolute specimen of an athlete and we think he could absolutely succeed at the USL level.”

While the possibility of having Bolt play alongside Freddy Adu next to the Vegas Strip is an enticing one, the Jamaican’s salary demands are likely far too much for a USL side to take on.

Lights FC currently sit 13th in the USL Western Conference, eight point outside of a playoff spot.

Bolt is an eight-time Olympic gold medalist, having competed at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games.

Usain Bolt claims he’s signed with professional team

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A former world-record sprinter is set to take his opportunity as a soccer player, however, he won’t reveal which club just yet.

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Jamaican athlete Usain Bolt revealed on Sunday that he has signed a contract with a professional side, although the 31-year-old wouldn’t state which club or where the side resides.

An official announcement is expected to come on Tuesday.

The veteran runner retired from track and field last year after winning eight Olympic gold medals in his career.

Bolt has been connected with several major European clubs in the past, including Manchester United — whom he has been a lifelong supporter of — and Borussia Dortmund.

Bolt was set to have a trial with the German side next month, although it’s unlikely that the Jamaican will have that chance now that he’s signed with a team.

Last month, he also trained with South African side Mamelodi Sundown.

Usain Bolt holds out hope for Man United dream deal

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It’s not uncommon for an athlete to change sports, and the world’s greatest sprinter remains hopeful that he can follow in the footsteps of greats like Bo Jackson and Michael Jordan to be the next two-sport athlete.

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Jamaican world-record holder Usain Bolt says he will have a trial with Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund in March, which could determine his future as a professional footballer.

Bolt, 31, won eight Olympic gold medals in track and field throughout his illustrious career as a sprinter, but has long been attached to the game of soccer and desired a move to Premier League side Manchester United.

“The injury is now fine and I’m back fully fit,” Bolt told the Express. “In March we’re going to do trials with Dortmund and that will determine what I do with that career, which way it goes. If they say I’m good, and that I need a bit of training, I’ll do it.

“It makes me nervous. I don’t get nervous but this is different, this is football now. It’ll take time to adjust but once I play a few times I’ll get used to it. It was the same when I started track and field.

“I was nervous for a while until I started getting used to the crowd, people and everyone around and it falls into place.

“One of my biggest dreams is to sign for Manchester United. If Dortmund say I’m good enough, I’ll crack on and train hard. I’ve spoken to Alex Ferguson and I told him he needs to put in a good word. He told me if I get fit and ready, he will see what he can do.”

Perhaps Bolt’s ties to former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson could give the Jamaican an inside track towards an Old Trafford move if his trial in Germany goes well, however, that would be a long shot.

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Still, it’s great to see one of this generation’s top athletes pursuing a dream of his, which is something the child in all of us wishes to do.