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ESPN.com | Jeff Carlisle, U.S. Soccer Correspondant | Jan. 11, 2019

Expansion side FC Cincinnati selected UCLA midfielder Frankie Amaya No. 1 overall in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft on Friday.

Amaya, 18, is the youngest player in the draft, but his upside is such that he’s expected to adapt well to the professional game, even in a central playmaking role that is usually the domain of foreign players.

The Generation Adidas player spent just one season at UCLA, making 14 appearances, 10 of them starts, while scoring two goals and adding two assists.

However, it was with the U.S. Under-20 team that the Santa Anna, California, native has drawn the most attention, helping the U.S. qualify for the FIFA U20 World Cup late last year.

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Paul Pogba named world’s most marketable athlete of 2018

SportsPro Media | Jan. 2019

SportsPro has never laid any claims to objectivity when compiling its annual list of the world’s 50 most marketable athletes. That is probably for the best.

Calculating marketability is undoubtedly an inexact science, one that relies on no small amount of informed guesswork and, increasingly, a complex and highly unpredictable array of contributing factors. Though many faces – from bonafide greats to overhyped underachievers – have come and gone over the years, SportsPro’s criteria has remained unchanged since the conception of the list in 2010. Each summer, athletes from across the world have been ranked according to their marketing potential over the coming three-year period, with particular emphasis placed on value for money, age, home market, charisma, willingness to be marketed and crossover appeal. Now, however, we’ve sought to bring a degree of science to the art of assessing athlete marketability.

Thanks to analytical data and advanced social media monitoring tools provided by Hookit, SportsPro’s official data partner, the composition of this year’s list has been informed by an all-new criteria: the Hookit Marketability Score.

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By: David Dusek | GOLFWEEK –  January 1, 2019 12:18 pm

Kevin Na, who won last season’s A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier, is in Hawaii preparing for the Sentry Tournament of Champions. On New Years Eve, a few hours before the clock struck 12 on the East Coast, he took to Instagram and made a major equipment announcement.

Although it is tough to tell from the photo, it appears Na already switched to Callaway’s Apex Pro irons, and there were several photos of him playing last season with a Callaway Epic driver, including at the Tour Championship at East Lake.

Na, who is originally from South Korea but who lives in Las Vegas, turned pro in 2001 and has won more than $28 million in official prize money.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SOCCER, GOLF, RACING TALENT AGENCIES MERGE TO FORM PROSPORT MANAGEMENT (Dec. 18, 2018) – Four of the top talent management agencies across the professional global sports of soccer, golf, and racing have officially merged to form PROSPORT Management. This merger brings together a client list of athletes in top soccer leagues and various national teams from all over the world, a two-time Masters champion, a U.S. Open champion and three Daytona 500 winners.

The move combines golf agent Jens Beck of PROSPORT Management, racing agent Rod Moskowitz, formerly of FUEL Sports Management Group, and soccer agents Mike Gartlan, formerly of COR Sports Management Group, and Oskar Olsen, formerly of Onfield Management. The new organization will keep its current offices in Scottsdale, Ariz., Charlotte, N.C., Southern California and Mexico City.

“Our main priority has always been to help our clients maximize their potential,” said Jens Beck, a principal in the new PROSPORT Management organization. “By bringing these agencies together, we create better scale for our clients especially when it comes to sponsorships and other marketing opportunities.”

Highlighting PROSPORT’s client list are PGA Tour star Bubba Watson, NASCAR stars Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin and MLS and International soccer players Walker Zimmerman and Erik Palmer-Brown.

“Our goal is to be considered an elite and distinctive sports management agency,” said Oskar Olsen, a PROSPORT principal and co-head of the soccer business. “This merger gives us unique access to an unbelievable group of talented and experienced people who will provide even more tools and guidance for our all of our clients.”

The golf roster of Watson, Geoff Ogilvy, Kevin Na, and Aaron Baddeley, has earned 26 PGA Tour career wins, including two Masters and a U.S. Open title. The racing roster of Hamlin, Elliott, Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Bubba Wallace and Brett Moffitt have accumulated 157 career NASCAR national series wins, including three Daytona 500 victories, one NASCAR Cup Series championship and one NASCAR Truck Series championship. Soccer clients, Justin Meram, Ola Kamara, Fanendo Adi, Christian Ramirez, Jorge Villafaña and multiple others on the roster, have won a combined five MLS Championships, four Supporter’s Shields and have multiple caps on various national teams.

“With the new organization, we will continue to be a nimble, quick-moving organization with a focus on service,” said Mike Gartlan, a PROSPORT principal and co-head of the soccer business. “We believe elite athletes deserve and demand a company that can provide the level of service and performance their talents require.”

Although the companies have been in partnership for several years and have worked together in various capacities, there was never a formal agreement. The principals realize they can do more for their clients together than as separate entities.

“We’re working with, and targeting, high-performing, highly-marketable athletes who don’t want to get lost in a huge roster of clients,” said Rod Moskowitz, a principal in PROSPORT Management and head of racing. “By bringing these agencies together, we are growing our resources and providing more value for our clients.”

About PROSPORT Management

PROSPORT Management is a full-service, sports talent management firm that represents elite professional golf, racing and soccer athletes in the United States and abroad. The group offers a broad network of services and a proven track record of business relationships built on trust and integrity. For more information, visit prosportmanagement.com.

by ALAN SHIPNUCK | GOLF.com – Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Johnny Ruiz is a young touring pro from Southern California patiently playing his way through golf’s minor leagues — the Canadian tour last year and the Web.com in 2018. Anonymity is part of the deal on these circuits, with sparse galleries and minimal media coverage. But Ruiz has discovered that wherever he goes a very specific kind of fan finds him. “Last year, my caddie and I always laughed about it,” says Ruiz, “because at every single tournament someone would send me a message saying, ‘I’ve been watching your swing on Instagram for so long, can you grab me a ticket so I can see  it in person?’”

Things got more intense when he qualified for the 2017 Canadian Open on the PGA Tour. His swing coach of five years flew north to caddie for Ruiz, and they were serenaded throughout the week. “On almost every hole,” he says, “people were yelling out George’s name. It was kind of crazy — he was getting more love than most of the actual players.”

The guru in question is George Gankas, who inspires in his followers a fervor reserved for religious revivals. Gankas has more than 100,000 disciples on Instagram (@georgegankasgolf), and dozens of top young players treat his riffs as holy scripture. They flock to him because his ideas are at once simple and radical, and he preaches speed above all else. No one on the PGA Tour averages as much as 125 miles per hour of clubhead speed with their driver. (Dustin Johnson clocks in at 121.) Gankas has 20 players in his stable of collegians and mini-tour warriors swinging it 130 mph or above. But his appeal transcends mere mechanics.

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By Ben Everill | PGATOUR.COM – July 09, 2018

Sometimes patience goes a long way, and things can be worth the wait. Just ask Kevin Na, who has produced plenty of highlights between victories on the PGA TOUR, but finally produced those that matter most: Winning ones.

Welcome to the Monday Finish, where Na said yeah on the greens at The Old White TPC over the weekend to streak away Sunday for a dominant win.

FIVE OBSERVATIONS

1. Good things come to those who wait. When Kevin Na won the 2011 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, the prevailing thought was it would not be his last victory. Most pundits might not have said he’d win an epic number of tournaments, but the majority expected Na to make his presence felt in the winner’s circle again. The confidence of that happening dwindled with each passing missed opportunity and throughout a period where Na just could not pull the trigger on his swing. He had six runner up results since his Las Vegas triumph leading into this week.

But after a less than stellar opening round, where he gave up nearly two strokes on the field in putting, Na found his groove. His performance on the greens on the weekend was first class. His Sunday efforts on the way to a 6-under 64 and a five-shot win showed a calmness in the moment he’d been missing. Saturday he made 124 feet, seven inches of putts. Sunday it was 143 feet, eight inches. See more about his putting stats below. Six birdies in seven holes set up the win. And a clutch par putt on the 12th, after his only bogey the hole before, showed he was ready.

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LAS VEGAS – It was hardly a surprise to hear Chase Elliott’s name called as the 2018 Most Popular Driver during the NASCAR Champion’s Week banquet in Las Vegas.

Elliott’s fellow drivers joked about it throughout the week, many of them already predicting Elliott to win it long before his name was called. Kyle Busch even clowned with Elliott during his media obligations offstage.

“When all your peers answer the interview as if you’ve already won, it kind of makes it odd,” Elliott said with a smile. “… It’s a great honor to have.”

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