Real Salt Lake has signed 14-year-old forward Axel Kei, the youngest player ever to sign with a Major League Soccer senior team. Kei, a lanky 6-foot-4 product of the RSL Academy, inked a two-year deal at 14 years and 15 days, the club announced Friday. Previously, the youngest player to sign with an MLS club was Freddy Adu, who was 153 days older than Kei when he joined D.C. United in 2004. Kei, an Ivory Coast native who grew up in Brazil before his family relocated to the United States in 2017, became the youngest-ever professional athlete for a US team when he played for the lower-division Real Monarchs last year at 13 years, 8 months and 9 days old ... Colorado midfielder Cole Bassett has left US training camp following a report he has a deal to be loaned to the Dutch club Feyenoord ... US national team midfielder Kellyn Acosta was acquired by Los Angeles FC from Colorado for $1.1 million.
ACC commissioner not in favor of playoff expansion
Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner Jim Phillips took the strongest public stance yet against expanding the College Football Playoff by the 2024 season, saying a new postseason format should not be a priority with so much uncertainty throughout college sports. Phillips cited changes to D-I along with the continuing need for federal legislation regarding name, image, and likeness compensation for athletes, the lingering ramifications of last year’s Supreme Court ruling that struck down the NCAA’s limits on athletes’ educational benefits, and the possibility of athletes organizing.
Alabama receiver entering draft despite serious knee injury
Despite suffering a reportedly serious knee injury in Monday’s College Football Playoff title game, Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams declared that he will enter this year’s NFL draft. Analysts have him as a first-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Williams was injured on a second-quarter play in Alabama’s 33-18 loss to Georgia. After catching a long pass and heading upfield, he crumpled to the ground just as a defender was preparing to make contact. Williams, a junior, remained on the turf for several moments, clutching his knee, then left the field and did not return. Citing sources the following day, ESPN reported that Williams tore an ACL. He was the SEC’s leader this season in receiving yards (1,572) and receiving touchdowns (15), Williams had been tabbed as a strong contender to be the first wide receiver selected in draft ... The nation’s longest-tenured FBS head coach plans to stick around a lot longer as the University of Iowa announced it was extending Kirk Ferentz’s contract through the 2029 season ... UCLA football coach Chip Kelly agreed to a new four-year contract after leading the Bruins to their best season since 2015 ... Maryland assistant basketball coach Bruce Shingler faces charges of procuring or soliciting prostitution or assignation, according to online court records. The school said Shingler was suspended 30 days for “a violation of his employment agreement” — and the athletic department would not comment further.
Wes Unseld Jr. becomes 16th NBA coach to enter COVID protocols
Wizards Coach Wes Unseld Jr. entered the NBA’s coronavirus protocols, the team announced . He is the second key member of Washington’s organization in protocols after guard Bradley Beal was sidelined earlier this week. Unseld is the 16th NBA head coach to enter the protocols this season, meaning more than half of the league’s head coaches have missed time because of the league’s covid-19 rules ... Kevin Durant has been fined $15,000 for using profane language during an interview after the Brooklyn Nets’ 114-108 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night. The NBA announced the fine, saying Durant declined to participate in an interview with the league about the incident ... Chicago star Zach LaVine left the Bulls’ game against the Golden State Warriors because of a left knee injury. LaVine walked gingerly toward the locker room with 8:28 left in the first quarter. He never went to the ground. LaVine tore the ACL in his left knee while playing for Minnesota in February 2017.
Ross Johnston suspended 3 games
New York Islanders forward Ross Johnston was suspended for three games without pay by the NHL for an illegal check to the head against New Jersey Devils forward A.J. Greer. Johnston was assessed a minor penalty for illegal check to the head early in the first period of the Islanders’ 3-2 home victory Thursday night. The suspension will cost Johnston $15,000 ... The Toronto Maple Leafs have added three more players to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol as an outbreak on the team that started in December continues to drag on. The Leafs announced that forwards Ondrej Kase and Nick Ritchie, and defenseman Justin Holl have been added to the list.
Nationals pitcher Seth Romero arrested on DWI charge
Washington Nationals pitcher Seth Romero was arrested on a charge of driving while intoxicated in Sweeny, Texas, according to online jail records for the Brazoria County Sherriff’s Office .... Russell Henley set a strong target in the Sony Open when he was 6 under over his final six holes and closed with a 30-foot eagle putt for a 7-under 63 and a three-shot lead among the early starters at Waialae ... Former Boston University basketball player, coach, and administrator Charles Luce (’51) has died. He was 93. Luce guided the Terrier men’s basketball program from 1966-71 and then spent the next three years as an assistant director of athletics before becoming the director of athletics at Connecticut College.