MEXICO CITY (AP) — Citing medical reasons, former soccer star Diego Maradona stepped down as coach of the Sinaloa Dorados of Mexico’s second division Thursday.

The 58-year-old Maradona took over in September and took the team that was near the bottom in the standings to consecutive final series in the Apertura 2018 and Clausura 2019 tournaments.

Both times, the team fell to Atletico San Luis, which reached the top flight.

“Diego Maradona decided to not continue as the head coach of Dorados,” Maradona’s manager, Matias Morla, said on his Twitter account. “On medical advice he will dedicate time to his health and will have two surgeries: in the shoulder and knee. We are thankful with the Dorados family and will continue the dream together in the future.”

In January, Maradona was admitted to a hospital in Argentina suffering from stomach bleeding, just a few days before returning to Mexico for his second season with Dorados.

Maradona’s orthopedic surgeon, German Ochoa, said earlier this year that the former soccer star has no cartilage left in his knees due to severe osteoarthritis and will need prostheses.

“Together we shocked the world. We showed that soccer is all about passion and heart, you will always be a Dorado, thanks for everything Diego,” the club tweeted. “Get well and we’ll see you soon.”

Maradona is one of the most recognizable names in international soccer, having led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup championship in Mexico with his infamous “Hand of God” goal.

GOLF

n GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Katherine Perry and Jenny Shin shared the lead at 6-under 66 when first-round play in the rain-delayed Meijer LPGA Classic was suspended because of darkness Thursday night.

Playing in the second group of the day off the first tee, Perry had eight birdies and two bogeys at Blythefield Country Club in the round that started seven hours late because of heavy rain.

“It was a weird day,” Perry said. “There was a lot going on from the beginning, just waking up at 5, hanging out, going back and napping, but it turned out to be beautiful out here. My swing was on, putting stroke was on from the start, so it was a great day.”

Making only her fourth LPGA Tour start of the season, the former North Carolina player birdied three of the first four holes.

TENNIS

n STUTTGART, Germany — German qualifier Dustin Brown upset top-seeded Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-3 Thursday to reach the quarterfinals of the Stuttgart Open.

Brown was playing just his second tour-level match of the year but hit a number of spectacular winners to beat the fifth-ranked Zverev and record his first win against a top-10 opponent since 2017.

The 170th-ranked Brown, who is best known for beating Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2015, next plays Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime, who defeated Gilles Simon 7-5, 6-4 at the grass-court tournament.

Matteo Berrettini caused another upset earlier Thursday, defeating second-seeded Karen Khachanov 6-4, 6-2.

The Italian next faces American player Denis Kudla, who advanced with a 7-5, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (3) win over Gael Monfils.

The Stuttgart Open made the switch from clay to grass in 2015.

n Former champion Donna Vekic eased past Chloe Paquet 6-1, 6-2 Thursday to reach the quarterfinals of the Nottingham Open, which played its matches indoors for the second straight day.

The second-seeded Vekic, who won the tournament in 2017, wrapped up the win in just 54 minutes.

Vekic next plays the eighth-seeded Kristina Mladenovic, who defeated Australia’s Astra Sharma 6-1, 7-5.

Rain forced organizers to switch all the first-round matches to an indoor hard-court facility on Wednesday after the opening two days were completely washed out, and a fourth consecutive day of rain Thursday forced another switch indoors.

PRO FOOTBALL

n FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The New York Jets have signed cornerback Mark Myers and waived safety John Battle.

Joe Douglas wasn’t kidding when he said during his introductory news conference that he would scour the waiver wire to add players. The new general manager made his second move in as many days Thursday to bring in a cornerback.

He claimed Montrel Meander off waivers from Oakland on Wednesday.

Myers was signed last year by Tampa Bay as an undrafted free agent out of Southeastern University. He did not appear in a regular season game for the Buccaneers. Myers played for Orlando of the now-defunct Alliance of American Football during the winter.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

n TEMPE, Ariz. — Herm Edwards is adding a new title at Arizona State: Professor.

The school announced Thursday that the Arizona State head football coach will become a professor of practice at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Edwards will serve as a guest lecturer and conduct regular discussions on sports and media while continuing to coach the football team.

A former NFL coach, Edwards spent eight years as a football analyst for ESPN. He was hired as Arizona State’s coach last year and surpassed outside expectations, leading the Sun Devils to a 7-6 record and a trip to the Las Vegas Bowl.

n Vanderbilt and SMU have scheduled a three-game series that starts in 2024.

The two teams will face each other twice in Nashville and once in Dallas during a six-year stretch.

The series starts when SMU visits Vanderbilt on Sept. 14, 2024. Vanderbilt will host SMU again on Sept. 9, 2028. Vanderbilt will play at SMU on Sept. 15, 2029.

Vanderbilt and SMU have split their four previous meetings. Vanderbilt won in 1937 and 1991. SMU beat the Commodores in 1936 and 1990.

Load comments