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Sports in brief


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report: FBI eyeing BLATTER

LONDON — The FBI is investigating the role of Sepp Blatter, president of the sport's world governing body (FIFA), in a kickbacks scandal that involved his predecessor, Joao Havelange, the BBC reported Sunday.

The BBC was scheduled to air today a program with evidence that indicates Blatter knew about bribes being paid to senior FIFA officials in the 1990s by sports marketing company ISL in return for TV and marketing rights. Havelange had to resign as honorary FIFA president over his role. Blatter has denied knowledge of the payments.

Blatter has been suspended in another corruption case that also involves Michel Platini, head of Europe's governing body. That case involves a controversial $2 million payment to Platini from FIFA in 2011 that Blatter said he approved as backdated salary for Platini's work as a presidential adviser from 1998-2002. Platini also has been suspended from FIFA. He and Blatter face lifetime bans pending an ethics committee hearing this month.

MLS CUP: Diego Valeri scored 27 seconds in for the fastest goal in MLS Cup history and Portland won the league title for the first time, beating host Columbus 2-1. Even though Portland has been in MLS since 2011, the Timbers as a brand have been in existence for 40 years, back to the North American Soccer League. The last time the Timbers played for a championship was a loss to the Rowdies in the 1975 NASL Cup.

more soccer

American women cancel exhibition because of poor field conditions

The U.S. women's team canceled an exhibition game against Trinidad and Tobago in Honolulu because of poor artificial turf at Aloha Stadium. The conditions weren't suitable for an international match, U.S. Soccer said.

The Americans were furious when they walked onto the field's buckled turf for an inspection Saturday, Fox Sports reported. "The training grounds that we were given and the playing surface of the stadium were horrible," U.S. star striker Alex Morgan told Fox Sports.

Star midfielder Megan Rapinoe tore an ACL in a practice scrimmage Friday at the University of Hawaii. That puts her participation in next year's Olympics in doubt.

The Americans are on a tour of the country to celebrate their World Cup championship this year.


Watson wins Tiger's tournament

Bubba Watson wasn't even planning to play in the Hero World Challenge. He left no doubt who was going to win.

He was never seriously challenged in the final round, sailing home to a 6-under 66 for a three-shot victory at 25-under 263 over Patrick Reed (66) at Albany Golf Club and a trophy from tournament host Tiger Woods in Nassau, Bahamas.

Watson, the third-round leader, turned down his invitation a few months ago because he didn't have a passport for his newly adopted daughter, Dakota. But when Jason Day backed out to stay home with his newborn daughter, Watson's wife was able to expedite the documents needed to travel. Watson left with a $1 million payoff and a firm grasp on the No. 4 world ranking. Rickie Fowler (68) was third at 21 under, and defending champion Jordan Spieth (67) was another shot back.


sailing: America's Cup racing will go to the Middle East for the first time when the America's Cup World Series is sailed in Muscat, Oman, on Feb. 27-28. Teams from the United States, France and England are part of the series of regattas leading up to the 2017 America's Cup in Bermuda.

colleges: Raquel Rodriguez scored in the 72nd minute to lead Penn State to a 1-0 victory over Duke in the NCAA women's soccer final at Cary, N.C. The Nittany Lions (22-3-2), who outscored their opponents by a combined margin of 20-0 in six tournament games, won their first national title. Duke (14-6-5) fell to 0-3 in College Cup finals, with losses to North Carolina in 1992 and Stanford in 2011.

alpine skiing: American Lindsey Vonn won a super-G race to complete a sweep of World Cup races at Lake Louise, Alberta, for the third time in her career. The four-time overall World Cup winner finished in 1 minute, 19.79 seconds, beating Austria's Tamara Tippler by 1.32 seconds. The victory margin was the largest in a women's super-G since 1997, the U.S. Ski Team said. Vonn captured both downhill races over the weekend for her third Lake Louise hat trick, following 2011 and '12.

speed skating: Brittany Bowe of Ocala beat Heather Richardson-Bergsma to win the women's 1,500 meters for the second American 1-2 finish in as many days at a World Cup event in Inzell, Germany. Bowe won the 1,000 meters Saturday.

Times wires

Sports in brief 12/06/15 [Last modified: Sunday, December 6, 2015 8:43pm]
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  1. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  2. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener


    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  3. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush


    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  4. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.
  5. Rays up next: vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: Off

    Up next: vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field.