SOCCER

Christian Pulisic was voted the U.S. Soccer Federation’s Male Player of the Year for the fourth time, matching Landon Donovan for the most times receiving an award that began in 1998.

Pulisic received 53% of the vote, followed by Yunus Musah (21.5%) and Ricardo Pepi (12.9%).

Pulisic also won in 2017, 2019 and 2021.

NWSL: Sixteen-year-old Casey Phair, the youngest player at last summer’s Women’s World Cup as a forward for South Korea, has signed with Angel City.

Phair was signed through 2026 via the league’s under-18 entry mechanism, the Los Angeles-based team announced. The daughter of an American father and South Korean mother, she was born in South Korea but grew up in the United States.

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SPAIN: Atletico Madrid beat crosstown rival Real Madrid 4-2 in extra time to reach the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey.

Antoine Griezmann and Rodrigo Riquelme scored after a 2-2 draw in regulation to send Atletico to the last eight, less than a week after it lost to Real Madrid in the semifinals of the Spanish Super Cup.

AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS: Liverpool star Mohamed Salah had to go off injured toward the end of the first half of Egypt’s 2-2 draw against Ghana. Egypt Coach Rui Vitória said after the extent of the injury was unclear.

HIGH SCHOOLS

BOYS’ BASKETBALL: Zach Kristan dropped in 17 points and Brady Peacock scored 15 as Gardiner (2-9) snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 64-50 victory at Brunswick (2-9).

Gardiner pulled away in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Dragons 21-9.

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Trevor Gerrish and Brendan Shaw led Brunswick with 12 points each. Cam Beal added 10.

GOLF

LPGA: Ayaka Furue of Japan did not see any signs of a fast start coming until she opened her 2024 LPGA season on Thursday with a red-hot performance.

Furue made seven birdies in a round 7-under 65, giving her a two-shot lead in the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions at Lake Nona in Orlando, Florida.

Furue, 23, who captured the Ladies Scottish Open in 2022 for her first LPGA title, is making her second start at the LPGA’s season opener for winners each of the last two years. She broke from a pack late in her round with birdies on the closing two holes at Lake Nona, the Tom Fazio design that hosted the first Solheim Cup in 1990.

She finished two shots clear of Sweden’s Maja Stark, who tied for second at this tournament last year; and Mexico’s Gaby Lopez, a past champion of the TOC.

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PGA: Zach Johnson made seven of his 10 birdies on the front nine on the way to a 10-under 62 and a share of the lead with Sweden’s Alex Noren after the first round of The American Express in La Quinta, California.

Rico Hoey and Christiaan Bezuidenhout were one shot back, and 22 golfers shot 65 or better, including Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas and former champion Si Woo Kim.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Rory McIlroy and Brian Harman were cruising in the first round of the Dubai Desert Classic.

Then they came to their final stretch of holes.

The No. 2-ranked McIlroy bogeyed three of his last four holes, and Harman, the British Open champion who also started at the 10th hole, finished bogey-par-double bogey to also finish with a 1-under 71 at Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The headline pair in the field were four strokes off the clubhouse lead held by Li Haotong, Andy Sullivan, Rasmus Hojgaard and Cameron Young when play was suspended because of darkness.

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WORLD CUP: Aleksander Aamodt Kilde is having a second operation five days after his shocking crash during a downhill race in Switzerland.

The former World Cup overall champion, and longtime partner of American star Mikaela Shiffrin, posted on social media that the latest surgery would be for two torn ligaments in his right shoulder

The first surgery Saturday was urgent to repair a severe cut and nerve damage in his right calf.

TRACK & FIELD

OBIT: Shawn Barber, the Canadian pole vault record holder and 2015 world champion, died from medical complications. He was 29.

Barber died Wednesday at home in Kingwood, Texas, his agent, Paul Doyle, confirmed to The Associated Press. A cause of death was not yet known. Barber had been experiencing health issues.

Barber was a standout pole vaulter at the University of Akron, where he captured back-to-back NCAA indoor championships in 2014 and 2015. He won the NCAA outdoor crown as well in 2015, before taking gold later that summer at the Pan-Am Games. Barber carried a wave of momentum into worlds that season in Beijing. He took gold over Germany’s Raphael Marcel Holzdeppe.


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