Courtney Vandersloot, who had played her entire 12-year career with the Chicago Sky, announced Thursday on social media that she would play with the New York Liberty this season, a day after Breanna Stewart said she’d play in New York.

The moves give New York a potent lineup, with Stewart, Vandersloot, Sabrina Ionescu, Betnijah Laney and Jonquel Jones making the Liberty an instant championship contender. New York, one of the WNBA’s original franchises, has never won a title.

Vandersloot had announced late Tuesday on social media that she wasn’t returning to Chicago. She has led the league in assists six times and helped the Sky win the 2021 WNBA championship.

Stewart and Vandersloot currently are playing together in Turkey.



PARIS-SAINT-GERMAIN: Kylian Mbappe has been ruled out for three weeks with a left-thigh tear and will miss the first leg of Paris Saint-Germain’s round-of-16 game against Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

Mbappe sustained the injury in the first half of PSG’s game at Montpellier on Wednesday and limped off the field. TV cameras also showed him rubbing the back of his left thigh as he walked to the dressing room.

PSG said tests revealed a tear in his left thigh.

AJAX: Ajax confirmed former Netherlands international John Heitinga as the coach after Alfred Schreuder was fired last week.

Heitinga, 39, is a product of the storied Ajax youth academy who went on to play for the Amsterdam club as a defender before moving on to Atletico Madrid, Everton, Fulham and Hertha Berlin. He has been coach of Young Ajax, the club’s second team, since the start of this season.

FRANCE: Defender Raphael Varane announced his retirement from the national team, the second major player to leave Les Bleus following the World Cup final defeat to Argentina.


The 29-year-old Varane made his debut 10 years ago and played 93 times. He was arguably the tournament’s standout defender when France won the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

But he fell to the ground exhausted deep into extra time against Argentina in Qatar last December. France lost the final on penalty kicks after a 3-3 draw.

Last month, goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris quit the national team after a record 145 appearances.

MLS: Los Angeles FC signed Spanish defender Sergi Palencia to a two-year contract through the 2024 season.

The 26-year-old Palencia is joining the defending Major League Soccer champions from Saint-Etienne in France’s Ligue 2. His deal with LAFC includes a contract option for 2025.



PGA: Hank Lebioda ran off six birdies in an eight-hole stretch for an 8-under 63 on the Shore course at Monterey Peninsula and a one-shot lead after the opening round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at Pebble Beach, California.

Three of the top four scores to par were at Monterey Peninsula. Kurt Kitayama made four straight birdies around the turn and had a bogey-free 64, and Harry Hall made five straight birdies and was tied for the lead until a late bogey on No. 8. He also had 64.

Chad Ramey had a 7-under 65 at Pebble Beach. He was tied for the lead until going into the front bunker on the par-3 17th and taking bogey.

The best score at Spyglass Hill belonged to Keith Mitchell at 5-under 67.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Ryo Hisatsune’s fast start with birdies on his first six holes helped the Japanese golfer take a two-shot lead after the first round of the Ras Al Khaimah Championship  at Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates.

Rasmus Hojgaard, whose twin brother, Nicolai, won the title here last year, carded six birdies in a flawless 66 to share second with Ryder Cup vice-captain Edoardo Molinari and England’s Matthew Baldwin.



MEN’S WORLD CUP: World Cup slalom standings leader Lucas Braathen left the hospital after surgery for appendicitis ahead of the world championships.

The 22-year-old Norwegian will miss a World Cup slalom on Saturday in France and has only a slim chance of racing in two weeks’ time at the worlds in Courchevel and Meribel.


MAJORS: AL batting champion Luis Arraez won his salary arbitration case and will get a $6.1 million salary from the Miami Marlins, who acquired the infielder from the Minnesota Twins last month.

Miami argued for a $5 million salary during a hearing Wednesday before John Stout, Mark Burstein and Scott Buchheit. Arraez received a raise from $2.2 million.

Arraez hit .316 with eight homers, 49 RBI and a .795 OPS last year for Minnesota, starting 61 games at first base, 34 at designated hitter and 31 at second. The 25-year-old was traded on Jan. 20 for starting pitcher Pablo Lopez and a pair of prospects: infielder Jose Salas and outfielder Byron Chourio.

Arraez is eligible for free agency after the 2026 season.

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