Thursday sports in brief | Soccer

NFL

NEW YORK (AP) — The Los Angeles Rams will host the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night, Sept. 8, to kick off the 2022 season.

It’s a juicy matchup from the team widely regarded by odds-makers in the Bills as title favorites and travels to SoFi Stadium, where the Rams won the championship against Cincinnati in February.

The Bengals are home to their division rivals, the Steelers, on Sunday, September 11, when all but two other teams start. These two clubs playing Monday nights also offer an enticing story: Russell Wilson is taking his Broncos to Seattle. The Seahawks traded their longtime quarterback to Denver during the offseason.

Sunday’s prime-time game features Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in Dallas.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — No. 1 overall pick Travon Walker signed Thursday with the Jacksonville Jaguars to a four-year, $37.4 million rookie contract that includes a $24.4 million signing bonus .

Walker’s contract is fully guaranteed and includes a team option for a fifth year, both standard for NFL first-round picks. He signed it a day before the Jaguars begin a rookie mini-camp.

First round colleague Devin Lloyd, 27th overall, also signed his rookie deal. He will receive a four-year contract worth $12.9 million and a $6.6 million signing bonus.

Jacksonville signed five of his seven total draft picks, including running back Snoop Conner (fifth round), cornerback Gregory Junior (seventh), and cornerback Montaric Brown (seventh).

MLB

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Phillies batter Bryce Harper has a small tear in his right elbow and won’t pitch for four weeks, but the reigning NL MVP will remain in the lineup as Philadelphia’s designated hitter.

Harper will receive a platelet-rich plasma injection on Sunday and will not play that day, manager Joe Girardi said ahead of Thursday night’s game at Dodger Stadium.

Harper hit .269 with six homers, 19 RBIs and an .847 OPS going into the series opener against Los Angeles. He won his second NL MVP award last season.

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The 29-year-old star has spent most of his time at DH this year due to his elbow problems.

NBA

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jimmy Butler scored 32 points and waved “bye bye” to the Philly crowd as he sent the Miami Heat into the Eastern Conference Finals Thursday night in Game 6 with a 99-90 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Heat plays the winner of the Milwaukee-Boston series. Defending champion Bucks leads that series 3-2 with Game 6 on Friday night in Milwaukee.

NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA’s championship trophy has a new look, and the league will be handing out some new trophies for the first time during these playoffs.

The league Thursday unveiled a slightly revised Larry O’Brien Trophy and announced changes to the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP trophy and changes to the design of the Conference Championship trophies.

And four of the game’s legends now have their names on NBA hardware.

The Eastern Conference Champion’s Cup was renamed the Bob Cousy, and the Western Conference Champion’s Cup was renamed the Oscar Robertson. And for the first time, there will be Conference Finals MVPs—the East Finals MVP will receive the Larry Bird Trophy, and the West Finals MVP will receive the Magic Johnson Trophy.

NHL

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jordan Binnington made 25 saves and the St. Louis Blues defeated the Minnesota Wild 5-1 in Game 6 Thursday night to advance to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs.

Ryan O’Reilly, Tyler Bozak and Vladimir Tarasenko scored in a dominant second half that saw the Blues overtake the Wild 22-5 and take control of the game.

Nick Leddy also scored, Colton Parayko added an empty net and David Perron had two assists as St. Louis won their first series since beating the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2019.

The Blues travel to Colorado to face the Avalanche in Game 1 of Round Two. The date and time have not yet been announced.

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NEW YORK — Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews and Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid are two of the finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy, the NHL’s most valuable player’s award.

New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin is also in contention for the award, which is “awarded to the player judged to be the most valuable to their team.”

Matthews, who received the Maurice (Rocket) Richard Trophy for the NHL’s leading scorer this season, had career-high 60 goals and 46 assists.

HORSE RACE

Rich Strike will not compete in the Preakness after his big surprise of winning the Kentucky Derby, preventing horse racing from having a Triple Crown winner for a fourth straight year.

Owner Rich Dawson made the impressive announcement Thursday, 10 days before the Maryland race.

Dawson said he and coach Eric Reed agreed to stick with the original Rich Strike plan and rest it for five weeks. Rich Strike, 80-1, was the biggest longshot to win the Derby in more than a century. Only Donerail paid more to win in 1913.

The plan now is for Rich Strike to run in the Belmont Stakes in New York on June 11th.

GOLF

LONDON (AP) – Greg Norman’s dismissal of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder as a “mistake” has been condemned by the late Washington Post columnist’s fiancee.

The former No. 1 golfer officiates a number of Saudi Arabia-funded tournaments in England and has been criticized for his comments on Khashoggi’s gruesome death on October 2, 2018 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

“Look, we’ve all made mistakes and you just want to learn from those mistakes and how you can correct them in the future,” Norman, 67, said Wednesday at an event promoting the tournaments.

The Australian noted “the good that the country is doing by changing its culture”.

WOMEN’S FOOTBALL

The draw for the 2023 Women’s World Cup, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, will take place in Auckland on October 22.

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The draw, announced early Friday in New Zealand, determines the groups for the preliminary rounds of the premier women’s soccer event, which will feature an expanded field of 32 teams.

The draw will be televised internationally and show the host cities of the games in both countries. The World Championships will open on July 20, 2023 at Eden Park in Auckland. The final is scheduled for August 20 in Sydney.

RUGBY

Finally the biggest rugby tournament is coming to the United States.

The Rugby World Cup will be hosted in the United States for the first time after being voted on Thursday to host the men’s event in 2031 and the women’s tournament two years later.

It marks rugby’s greatest attempt to penetrate the broader American sporting consciousness and to tap into what World Rugby – the sport’s international governing body – sees as an area of ​​untapped potential, both commercially and sportingly.

OBITUARY

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Gino Cappelletti, a former AFL Most Valuable Player and original member of the Boston Patriots who was a part of the franchise for five decades as a player, coach and broadcaster, has died. He was 89.

Cappelletti died Thursday at his home in Wellesley, Massachusetts. His death was announced by the New England Patriots on Thursday. No cause of death was given.

Cappelletti, known as “The Duke,” played receiver and kicker and scored the first regular-season points in AFL history, a 35-yard field goal in the first quarter of the Patriots’ 13-10 loss to the Denver Broncos on March 9 September 1960.

He became the league MVP in 1964 and was one of three players, along with Jim Otto and George Blanda, to appear in every game in the AFL’s 10-year history.


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