Usain Bolt’s A-League Debut A Success, Even Though He Was Pretty Awful

Usain Bolt made his debut with the Central Coast Mariners of Australia’s A-League on Friday. He played 19 minutes, didn’t score and certainly didn’t show enough ability to be considered a professional footballer. But the Usain Bolt soccer trial was a smashing success.

The Central Coast Mariners drew an average of 7,194 fans per match last season, the lowest number in the history of the club. For a meaningless preseason match on Friday, the club drew nearly 10,000 fans through the gates at Central Coast Stadium. No matter how bad Bolt was on the pitch, his trial brought the Mariners just what they wanted: unnecessary hype. 

But, again, Bolt was pretty poor on the pitch.

The Usain Bolt soccer debut arrived in the 71st minute, with Central Coast Mariners leading Central Coast Select 6-0. About five minutes later, CCS, an all-star team of local amateurs, scored its only goal. The match finished 6-1.

A look at some of Bolt’s soccer highlights show how poor he really was. 

His first touch of the match was abysmal. 

Bolt did have a couple chances to score, but wasn’t fast enough (huh?) to reach a cross early in stoppage time and moments later scuffed a shot that was easily blocked away by a defender. 

While Deadspin wants you to believe Bolt was decent, any real soccer aficionado would watch this longer selection of highlights and see a player who belongs in a rec league, not a professional league. He had one OK run, but he basically looked like a man built for speed, not a deft touch.

It’s clear Bolt has played soccer before, but he’s no closer to the Jamaican national team than Bob Marley. 

But at least he’s having fun; you can’t fault him for that. And as one of the greatest athletes in the history of the human species, he’s earned the right to have a bit of fun on the pitch. 

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