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Usain Bolt has ‘a lot of offers’ from soccer teams

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A torn hamstring will apparently not keep Usain Bolt from his long-talked-about pursuit of soccer.

“We have a lot of offers from different teams, but I have to get over my injury first and then take it from there,” Bolt said while in Sydney this week, according to the Daily Telegraph in Australia.

What those offers entail, and who extended them, are not clear.

Separately, Bolt spoke with former longtime Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson while attending a United-Leicester City match on Aug. 26.

“I said, if I get fit, will you give me a trial, and he said give me a call and we’ll see what happens,” Bolt said, according to Australia’s 9 News. “So, we’ll see how that works out.”

Bolt has been linked to possibly practicing with his favorite Premier League club or playing in a United exhibition-type match for years.

Bolt also said last year that he expected to train with German club Borussia Dortmund soon after his retirement from track and field after last month’s world championships. Bolt and Dortmund already have a tie-in with apparel sponsor Puma.

“I wouldn’t say I’m the most skilled football player, but I notice that it doesn’t take a lot of skills nowadays,” Bolt said, according to 9 News. “I think I’ll have to learn a lot more passing and control and seeing the game at a different level, but I play a lot of football with my friends, and I think I’m pretty good.”

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MORE: Bolt says his records will stand for 15-20 years

Usain Bolt calls into Manchester United post-game show (video)

Usain Bolt Manchester United
Manchester United TV
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The host didn’t believe it, but, yes, Usain Bolt called into Manchester United’s post-game show to discuss the club’s victory on New Year’s Eve.

“Next caller is in Jamaica, we’re heading over there to speak to Usain. It’s not Usain Bolt is it?” show host Mandy Henry said.

“It is Usain Bolt,” the nine-time Olympic champion responded.

Bolt went on to provide his thoughts on United’s 2-1 win over Middlesbrough earlier Saturday.

“They came through like the old Manchester United,” said Bolt, a longtime United fan. “Everybody pushed, and we persevered, the Manchester United way. It was a great match. I am very happy about this.”

Later on Twitter, Bolt’s account confirmed he was the caller.

“Sorry Usain – we didn’t think it was you!” Henry’s account responded.

Bolt has said he expects to train with German club Borussia Dortmund within the next two years.

In the past, Bolt has been linked to Jamaica’s national team, played with Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero and was erroneously reported to be suiting up in a special Manchester United match.

MORE: Usain Bolt says why he won’t pull a Michael Phelps unretirement

Tim Howard unsure if MLS move will impact Olympic option

Tim Howard
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U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard has “no idea” if his move to the MLS’ Colorado Rapids on July 4 will preclude him from a possible over-age place on the U.S. Olympic soccer team in August.

“I think that’s something that will have to get ironed out, if there’s even a possibility of it,” Howard said Sunday. “I think we have to qualify [for the Olympics] first. Then after that, I guess they select their over-age players, and then I think some people in Denver might have to sign off on that, which I don’t know how that’s going to go over. To answer your question, I have no idea.”

Howard will play for the Rapids as a high-priced Designated Player signing after he finishes the English Premier League season with Everton. The MLS season runs into late fall.

Howard, a 2000 Olympian, would be an intriguing but complicated option for a place on the Rio Olympic team.

First, the U.S. must beat Colombia in a home-and-home Olympic qualifying playoff later this month.

Not only are the Olympics in Brazil, where Howard was a wall for the U.S. at the 2014 World Cup, but he could also make his Olympic debut in Rio.

Howard made the 2000 U.S. Olympic team as the No. 2 goalkeeper and ascended to No. 1 when Adin Brown was taken off the Olympic team due to injury, two weeks before the Games.

The following day, Brown’s replacement was named — longtime U.S. men’s national team goalie and 1992 Olympian Brad Friedel. Friedel started every match for the U.S. at the Sydney Games en route to a fourth-place finish, relegating Howard to the bench.

In 2000, Howard was 21 years old, but this year he would have to be one of three over-age selections if he’s on the Olympic team. Like Friedel was in 2000.

All but three players on each Rio Olympic men’s soccer team must be born on or after Jan. 1, 1993, keeping the Olympic soccer squads to mostly under-23 players.

The last three U.S. Olympic soccer teams all included over-age goalies — Kasey Keller in 1996, Friedel in 2000 and Brad Guzan in 2008.

Keller and Friedel preceded Howard as U.S. starting goalies at World Cups. Guzan is Howard’s main competition to be the U.S.’ No. 1 goalie at June’s Copa America Centenario.

Clubs are required to release players to play in Copa America Centenario, with Guzan and Howard both likely to be on the U.S. roster for that North and South American tournament.

Clubs are not required to release players for the Olympics, meaning the Rapids could keep their high-priced acquisition Howard from competing in the Rio Games. The Rapids play three MLS games during the Olympics.

“It’s always an exciting prospect, but I think you’re talking about something that is far off in the distance,” Howard said of the Olympics. “My immediate focus is to finish out the season with Everton, play in the Copa America and then ultimately get myself out to Denver and start putting some pieces in place to be successful. Whatever happens after that, I don’t really know.”

Designated Players have been a part of MLS since 2007. The only U.S. Olympic soccer team during the Designated Player era — the Beijing 2008 squad — included zero MLS Designated Players.

NBC Olympics producer Seth Rubinroit contributed to this report.

MORE: Landon Donovan backs Howard for Rio 2016