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.
Freddy Adu appears to have found himself a decent home out in the desert, and he’s found the back of the net for his new club.
The 29-year-old scored his first goal for Las Vegas Lights FC on Saturday night during the team’s 4-1 win over the Colorado Springs Switchbacks, which just happened to be his birthday.
Meanwhile, Vegas goalkeeper Ricardo Ferrino thought he’d take the game into his own hands — or in this case feet — when he attempted to dribble the length of the pitch in the 50th minute.
Unfortunately for the keeper, his plan didn’t work out.
New United Soccer League club Las Vegas Lights, made famous by their wildly colorful (and admittedly awesome) home kits this season as well as the signing of Freddy Adu, has made another splash among the soccer community.
The Lights have become the first professional sports team in the United States to partner with a marijuana dispensary, signing a deal with NuWu Cannabis, a dispensary in Las Vegas. The club’s social media account loudly proclaimed the accomplishment, as the club has a clear “shock the world” type of marketing strategy in its first season of existence. The dispensary is the largest in the world, and sells to over 1,000 customers a day, according to ESPN reporter Darren Rovell.
“We love Las Vegas, and we’re not embarrassed to support any business here,” Las Vegas Lights Chief Operating Officer Brett Lashbrook said. “This is the right time and the right market to do this, and we’re not going to hide. We think this will be part of the destigmatization of this substance and business. This isn’t some shady guys walking around with hoods over their heads. This shop is closer to an Apple Store.”
There are laws about advertising marijuana to children, similar to the laws that exist that restrict tobacco advertising, so the club will need to tread carefully to remain in compliance. However, Rovell reports that the club could potentially have a branded marijuana in the dispensary as well as branded paraphernalia.
Recreational marijuana was legalized in Las Vegas in July 2017.
Las Vegas Lights FC is a team you will want to keep an eye on.
The newly-formed USL club are already getting crowds of close to 10,000 during their inaugural season, Freddy Adu on their roster, fiery Mexican coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola (“Chelis” to you and I) as their Technical Director, plus plenty of interesting initiatives off the pitch, LV Lights are having a lot of fun.
This proves it.
On Friday they unveiled their mascot “Cash the Soccer Rocket” and this was how they did it.
Bravo to the team behind-the-scenes in Sin City. Bravo.
It’s hard to believe that half of Freddy Adu’s life has involved the one-time D.C. United prodigy playing professional soccer, but the American has found his next club.
The 28-year-old midfielder has joined Las Vegas Lights FC, as the expansion club makes its debut in USL in 2018.
Adu joined Las Vegas last month on trial, and has stuck around with the team ever since, prior to completing the official signing on Thursday.
After spending several years overseas, Adu has spent his career playing domestically the last few years with the Tampa Bay Rowdies (2015 & 2016), who also play in USL.
In his international career, Adu was capped 17 times for the U.S. Men’s National Team between 2006 and 2011.