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Bolt Strikes Twice; Will Usain Remain On Track To Soccer Glory?

If you haven’t seen the picture yet, we suggest you try to find it. Those who follow Usain Bolt on social media have already seen it. It’s fabulous.

There is Bolt, wearing No. 95, in the blue and yellow of the A-League Central Coast Mariners. He’s striking his famous pose, leaning back, left arm up to the sky, left forefinger pointing to the galaxy where only athletes as blessed as he can hang.

Usain Bolt

Matt King / Getty

A month or so ago we told you that Bolt, perhaps the greatest sprinter in Olympic history, an eight-time gold medal winner, had decided to become a professional soccer player.

Hey, why not? Jim Thorpe played football and baseball. Jim Brown was a lacrosse star at Syracuse. Danny Ainge played infield for the Toronto Blue Jays. And then there’s Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson, among others.

Well, we have some news. Bolt scored a pair of goals in a preseason friendly against Macarthur South West. Hence the pose. The guy has done it again.

Now this isn’t to say he’s on his way to the Premier League. Our favorite player, Harry Kane, the captain of England’s World Cup side, already has five goals for Tottenham and we’re sure he’s not worried about Bolt taking his job.

But you’ve got to admit Bolt may be on his way to crossing something else off his bucket list. And isn’t that what’s life’s all about.

According to the Australian Associated Press, Bolt took the field as a striker and scored his first goal in the 55th minute to put Central Coast up 3-0 (or nil, if we must). Apparently, Bolt dashed to a through-ball from teammate Ross McCormack and potted it with his left foot.

Then came the pose.

Just 15 minutes later, Bolt took advantage of a Macarthur mistake, jumped on a loose ball and knocked it in.

Lightning had struck twice.

Of course, there were cynics. There were complaints about how difficult at times it was for Bolt to maintain possession. In the second minute he broke free, but lost possession before he could get off a shot. And he had a few other chances, in the 23rd and 39th minute, before he was finally subbed out in the 75th minute.

“I’ve been working, trying to get fit to the level that I can play for 45 minutes,” Bolt told the team’s website. ‘To me, I played well and happy with the progress I’m making. I was telling myself if I got the guy off my shoulders, set up myself and hit the target, that was the key thing.

“The coach told me you will get chances, don’t get frustrated if you miss it’s a part of the game, you got to continue pushing till you get those chances. I need more games to get better and to know where to be. The coach will play me in different places, because of my speed, other strikers.”

The performance guarantees very little long term for Bolt. Think of it this as training camp. Personnel decisions will have to be made. He might make it, he might not. The match against Macarthur was the final of the preseason.

“We will sit down with the club, discuss and see if we want to move forward and what I need to do and how to do that,” Bolt said. “For me I’m taking this a step at a time and I want to push myself to see how far I can go. We have to sit down after this game, the season will come up, figure out what were got to do but until that I’m here to train.”

McCormack and Jordan Murray scored the other two goals in the Mariners’ 4-0 win. The regular season begins next weekend with a match in Brisbane.

“The best thing about Usain Bolt is he’s so humble,” McCormack said after the match. He’s fitted in well with the lads. From my first day, even to where he is now, the transformation is huge.”

Central Coast finished last in the 10-team A-League last season with just four wins in 27 matches. So we’ll see what coach Matt Mulvey will decide.


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