Thursday’s Sports In Brief

December 30, 2022 GMT


SAO PAULO (AP) — Pelé, the Brazilian king of soccer who won a record three World Cups and became one of the most commanding sports figures of the last century, died Thursday. He was 82.

The standard-bearer of “the beautiful game” had undergone treatment for colon cancer since 2021. The medical center where he had been hospitalized for the last month said he died of multiple organ failure as a result of the cancer.

A funeral was planned for Monday and Tuesday, with his casket to be carried through the streets of Santos, the coastal city where his storied career began, before burial.

Widely regarded as one of soccer’s greatest players, Pelé spent nearly two decades enchanting fans and dazzling opponents as the game’s most prolific scorer with Brazilian club Santos and the Brazil national team.

His grace, athleticism and mesmerizing moves transfixed players and fans. He orchestrated a fast, fluid style that revolutionized the sport — a samba-like flair that personified his country’s elegance on the field.


He carried Brazil to soccer’s heights and became a global ambassador for his sport in a journey that began on the streets of Sao Paulo state, where he would kick a sock stuffed with newspapers or rags.

In the conversation about soccer’s greatest players, only the late Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are mentioned alongside Pelé.

Different sources, counting different sets of games, list Pelé’s goal totals anywhere between 650 (league matches) and 1,281 (all senior matches, some against low-level competition.)

The player who would be dubbed “The King” was introduced to the world at 17 at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, the youngest player ever at the tournament. He was carried off the field on teammates’ shoulders after scoring two goals in Brazil’s 5-2 victory over the host country in the final.

Injury limited him to just two games when Brazil retained the world title in 1962, but Pelé was the emblem of his country’s World Cup triumph of 1970 in Mexico. He scored in the final and set up Carlos Alberto with a nonchalant pass for the last goal in a 4-1 victory over Italy.

Pelé was born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, in the small city of Tres Coracoes in the interior of Minas Gerais state on Oct. 23, 1940.



SEMMERING, Austria (AP) — Mikaela Shiffrin led Paula Moltzan for an American 1-2 finish in a night slalom to become the first ski racer with 50 World Cup victories in a single discipline.

No other skier, female or male, has won an event more than 46 times in the 56-year World Cup history. The result also marked Shiffrin’s 80th World Cup win overall — two short of Lindsey Vonn’s women’s record.

Building on a big first-run lead of more than seven-tenths of a second, Shiffrin overcame several mistakes in her final run on the deteriorating course to finish 0.29 ahead of Moltzan, who had her first career podium in the discipline. Americans were last 1-2 in a women’s World Cup slalom in 1971.


NEW YORK (AP) — Detroit guard Killian Hayes and Orlando’s Moritz Wagner were each given multi-game suspensions for their roles in a scuffle, while the NBA suspended eight Magic players one game apiece for leaving the bench area during an altercation.


Hayes, who struck Wagner in the back of the head, was given a three-game suspension without pay. Wagner was banned two games and the Pistons’ Hamidou Diallo was suspended one game by NBA executive vice president Joe Dumars — the former Pistons star player and executive.

The fallout from the game in Detroit on Wednesday night was so large that the suspensions of the Magic players will be staggered so they have enough available players to play their next game.

Cole Anthony, R.J. Hampton, Gary Harris, Kevon Harris, Admiral Schofield, Franz Wagner, Mo Bamba and Wendell Carter Jr. were all suspended one game.

Wagner hip-checked Hayes into the Detroit bench to begin the altercation. Hayes got up and hit him in the back, and Wagner appeared to briefly be knocked out.


LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers and All-Star outfielder J.D. Martinez finalized a $10 million, one-year deal.


Martinez spent the last five years with the Boston Red Sox. He hit .274 with 62 RBIs and 16 home runs last season in 139 games. He earned his fourth straight All-Star appearance after hitting .302 with 38 RBIs and nine homers in the first half of the season.

The 35-year-old designated hitter is 18 homers away from reaching the 300-mark. Martinez’s 12-year MLB career includes stints with Houston, Detroit and Arizona.


MONCTON, New Brunswick (AP) — Minnesota freshman Jimmy Snuggerud scored twice and the United States rebounded from a loss to beat Switzerland 5-1 in the world junior hockey championship.

Logan Cooley had a goal and an assist, captain Luke Hughes and Tyler Boucher also scored and Trey Augustine made 18 saves. Coming off a 6-3 loss to Slovakia on Wednesday, the Americans improved to 2-1 in Group B.

In the first game of the day at Avenir Centre, Finland beat Latvia 3-0 to keep the Group B lead with two victories and an overtime loss. In Group A in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Sweden beat the Czech Republic 3-2 in overtime to remain first, and Canada routed Austria 11-0 in the night game.

The United States will finish group play Saturday against Finland.