Friday’s Sports In Brief

SOCCER

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Christian Pulisic was cleared to play for the United States in its round of 16 match at the World Cup against the Netherlands on Saturday.

The U.S. Soccer Federation said after a training session he had been given the go-ahead.

Pulisic left the final group match against Iran at halftime Tuesday after bruising his pelvic bone in a collision with the goalkeeper while scoring in the 38th minute. The Americans won 1-0 to advance.

Pulisic was taken to the hospital after halftime and returned to the team hotel in time for the postgame celebration.

SAO PAULO (AP) — Pelé has a respiratory infection and will remain at the hospital where he’s been since Tuesday.

The 82-year-old Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé, is being treated with antibiotics, Hospital Albert Einstein said in a statement.

Pelé thanked fans in an Instagram post late Thursday for the well-wishes he’s received in a fight against cancer. He had a colon tumor removed in September 2021 and has since gone through chemotherapy. Neither the hospital nor his family has said whether the former player’s cancer has spread to other organs.

Pelé helped Brazil win the 1958, 1962 and 1970 World Cups.

NEW YORK (AP) — LA Galaxy President Chris Klein was suspended and the team fined $1 million by Major League Soccer for undisclosed payments involving Argentine winger Cristian Pavón in 2019.

MLS stripped the team of $1 million in future general allocation money and said the Galaxy will not be allowed to acquire players coming to MLS internationally during next summer’s transfer window. MLS also said former general manager Dennis te Kloese must submit an application to the league office if he wants to be hired by any MLS team.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland Thorns coach Rhian Wilkinson resigned just five weeks after she led the team to the National Women’s Soccer League championship.

Wilkinson issued a statement that said players had asked for her resignation and she complied. Wilkinson said she was investigated and cleared of wrongdoing by the NWSL and its players union after she self-reported that she and a player had developed feelings for one another but had never acted upon them. She said she and the player eventually “stopped all communication outside of work.”

BASEBALL

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Free-agent ace Jacob deGrom and the Texas Rangers agreed to a $185 million, five-year contract.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner leaves the New York Mets after nine seasons — the past two shortened by injuries.

After making his first start last season in early August, deGrom went 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 11 outings. He helped the Mets reach the playoffs, then opted out of his contract to become a free agent.

Texas announced the signing after the 34-year-old deGrom passed his physical. A person with direct knowledge of the deal disclosed the financial terms to The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the club did not announce those details.

SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Mariners acquired second baseman Kolten Wong from the Milwaukee Brewers in a trade for outfielder Jesse Winker and infielder Abraham Toro.

Seattle also receives cash as part of the deal. ESPN reported the Brewers would be sending the Mariners about $1.75 million.

Milwaukee has been shedding payroll this offseason after going 86-76 and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2017. The Brewers picked up the $10 million team option on Wong’s contract for 2023 last month, then traded him away.

Wong, 32, batted .251 this season and had a career-best 15 homers to go with 47 RBIs and 17 steals in 134 games.

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers promoted Marti Wronski to chief operating officer, making her the franchise’s highest-ranking female executive since Wendy Selig-Prieb was the president and chair of the board in the early 2000s.

Brewers officials also said Wronski is the only woman to currently hold the COO title for a major league franchise.

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks signed hard-throwing reliever Miguel Castro to a one-year contract.

Castro, who turns 28 this month, has already spent eight years in the big leagues, most recently with the New York Yankees. The 6-foot-7 right-hander was 5-0 with a 4.03 ERA in 34 appearances last season.

PRO FOOTBALL

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Lamar Jackson apologized for his vulgar tweet following Baltimore’s loss last weekend, sayin he was angry and reacted.

Jackson hadn’t been made available since the situation since Sunday.

After the Ravens lost 28-27 to Jacksonville on Sunday, a fan suggested Baltimore should let Jackson leave via free agency. Jackson responded in a tweet that was later deleted, saying the person “never smelt a football field” and using vulgar language that members of the LBGTQ community said was offensive.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper and his real estate company are the focus of a criminal investigation to see if they misused any public money in their failed effort to build a practice facility for the NFL team in South Carolina.

The York County Sheriff’s Office said state agents and local prosecutors are aiding its investigation, and that the probe does not mean that any crime happened.

Tepper’s company denied any criminal wrongdoing and suggested the timing of the announcement might be meant to disrupt a settlement the team reached with York County to repay more than $21 million, an amount roughly equivalent to the sales tax money the project received to improve roads around the facility.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida has formally dismissed quarterback Jalen Kitna from the team following his arrest on five child pornography charges that police said included an image of a man having sex with a young girl.

The Gators scrubbed Kitna’s name from their roster and his biography from their website late Thursday, just hours after Kitna’s first court appearance. Kitna was released from jail on an $80,000 bond and ordered to have no unsupervised contact with minors and no internet access.

Kitna, 19, returned with his parents, retired NFL quarterback Jon Kitna and wife Jennifer, to Burleson, Texas.

SAN MARCOS, Texas (AP) — Texas State hired Incarnate Word football coach G.J. Kinne to lead a Sun Belt program that has had only one winning season since moving up to the Bowl Subdivision in 2012.

The 34-year-old former Tulsa quarterback signed a five-year contract.

Incarnate Word is 10-1 and averaging 53 points and 8.3 yards per play, both FCS highs, heading into its playoff game Saturday against Furman. Kinne will remain with Incarnate Word through its playoff run. Texas State fired Jake Spavital last week after the Bobcats won just 13 games in his four seasons.

GOLF

NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) — Needing a victory to return to No. 1 in the world, Masters champion Scottie Scheffler shot a 4-under 68 in relentless wind in the Hero World Challenge to enter the weekend a shot behind defending champion Viktor Hovland.

Hovland made an eagle for the second straight day — the other 19 players have combined for one eagle this week — in a 70 that left the Norwegian at 5-under 139 at Albany. Xander Schauffele leaned on exquisite wedge play for a 68 and joined Scheffler, Cameron Young (69) and Collin Morikawa (71) in the group one shot behind.

Scores typically are much lower in the holiday event Tiger Woods hosts for a 20-man field of elite players in the Bahamas. The course was soaked and played long on Thursday. It dried out in 30 mph wind on Friday.

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Ockie Strydom shot a course record 9-under 63 to move within two shots of leader Thriston Lawrence at the South African Open before second-round play was suspended because of lightning.

Strydom had nine birdies at the Blair Atholl Golf and Equestrian Estate to close in on his South African countryman. Lawrence shot a 67 to get to 13-under 131.

SKIING

LAKE LOUISE, Alberta (AP) — Italy’s Sofia Goggia won the first World Cup women’s downhill race of the season, holding off Olympic champion Corinne Suter of Switzerland at Lake Louise.

Goggia edged Suter by 0.04 seconds. Cornelia Huetter of Austria was third.

BEAVER CREEK, Colo. (AP) — The first of two World Cup scheduled downhill races on the Birds of Prey track was canceled because of strong wind and snowfall.

The course was closed for the day so crew workers could prepare for another downhill race set for Saturday. There’s also a super-G event Sunday.

BOBSLED

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries of the U.S. topped both runs in a World Cup monobob victory.

Lisa Buckwitz of Germany was second and Cynthia Appiah of Canada was third. In the two-man race, Germany’s Francesco Friedrich rallied in the second heat.

Copyright © 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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