Livescore Thursday, April 25

Harry Kane has made a living with his feet. Could he eventually switch boots and try his luck at kicking another ball?

Don’t rule it out. 

Kane, who is a big fan of American football, continues to talk about his desire to one day be a kicker for an NFL franchise and spoke about it with Michael Strahan on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“It’s something I definitely want to explore,” Kane said. “I know it’ll be a lot of hard work. I’m not expecting to just walk up and start kicking field goals. It will be a lot of practice, a lot of hard work but, yeah, it’s something I’d love to do. The NFL is something I’v e been following for about 10 years now, and I love it. So, would love to give it a go.”

The Tottenham striker, who turns 30 in July, could be the latest entry into the dual-sport club and one of the most successful one to potentially make the jump. Soccer-style kicking became popular in American football in the 1960s thanks to a better success rate which helped with distance and accuracy. Former Bills and Giants kicker Pete Gogolak pioneered the style that fans are used to seeing today. 

MORE: Will Harry Kane leave Tottenham? Mapping the rumoured transfer options

Kane moving across the pond to put on a helmet and shoulder pads isn’t completely far-fetched. The NFL has provided opportunities to international players in an effort to expand its reach globally. While soccer players don’t typically end up on NFL rosters, rugby players have tasted a little more success — notably Eagles left tackle Jordan Mailata.

England’s No. 9 seems to be hopeful he’ll someday join that list. Is Kane able to make the switch? The Sporting News answers that question and more.

Could Harry Kane play in the NFL?

Soccer, just like football, has 11 players in the game on each team. But in the case of Kane’s idea, playing in the NFL might be a better idea since kickers typically are mostly free from contact in a sport known for its vicious hits — something that can’t be said when he’s on the pitch in his current job. 

Still, the objective at its most basic form is largely the same — run around on the grass, kicking a ball into or through the target. In soccer, that is a goal that stands 8 feet tall and 24 feet wide. In the NFL, the target sits 10 feet off the ground and is 18 feet, six inches wide. 

There isn’t a policy in place that would keep Kane ineligible from playing in the NFL, especially thanks to their international programs that have helped players receive training camp invites in recent years. So it would just be a matter of both Kane and an NFL team taking a leap of faith. 

MORE: Where does Harry Kane rank among Premier League all-time scorers? 

NFL players who played pro soccer

Although it’s relatively uncommon, the idea of a soccer player shifting over to the NFL is not unheard of. The Jets also tried their luck in 1994 by signing United States Men’s National Team goalkeeper Tony Meola after the World Cup concluded. Meola didn’t make it out of the preseason with the Jets, but here are the players who did make the jump: 

Toni Fritsch

Fritisch was a member of the Austrian soccer club Rapid Wien for eight seasons before joining the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent. He made his debut in November 1971 — kicking the game-winning field goal in his first game.

He was part of the Cowboys team that won the Super Bowl that year. Fritisch spent 12 seasons in the league and played in 139 games.

Toni Linhart

The NFL has always been known as a copycat league so it makes sense that someone would try to replicate the success Fritsch experienced. Naturally that attempt came quickly when Toni Linhart made the jump to the NFL from Austria in 1972.

Linhart played for the Austrian national team and Wiener Sportclub before eventually joining the New Orleans Saints. He would go on to spend most of his career with the Baltimore Colts — earning Pro Bowl honors in 1976 and 1977. 

Chris Bahr

Bahr is another soccer player who experienced success as a kicker in the NFL. The Pennsylvania native played one season in the North American Soccer League (NASL) with the Philadelphia Atoms, before opting for the NFL. 

He was drafted by the Bengals in the second round (51st overall) in the 1976 NFL Draft. Bahr went on to win two Super Bowls with the Raiders over the course of his 14-year career. 

Neil O’Donoghue

The Dublin-born O’Donoghue had a brief stint with Shamrock Rovers in Ireland before spending nine seasons in the NFL. He honed his American football skills at Auburn before the Bills selected him in the fifth round (127th overall) in the 1977 NFL Draft. He bounced around the league but appeared in 113 games, while also being known as the tallest kicker in NFL history, standing at 6-foot-6. 

MORE: Highest drafted kickers in NFL history

Matt Bahr

Chris Bahr’s younger brother, Matt, joined the NFL in 1979 and appeared in 248 games over his 17-year career. The younger Bahr came over from the NASL as well, just like his brother. He went on to win three Super Bowls and also posted an NFL-best 87.5 made field goal percentage in 1983. 

Josh Lambo

The former Jaguars kicker — who is perhaps best known for his incident with Urban Meyer — is the most recent entry on the list. He spent eight seasons in the NFL, but began his career in professional sports as a goalkeeper in MLS. He was a first-round draft pick by FC Dallas in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft. 

Lambo was in MLS from 2008-12 before shifting his focus to the gridiron, where he even won second team All-Pro honors in 2019, finishing with a league-best 97.1 percent made field goal percentage. 

Read the full article here

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