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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ching might miss World Cup shot


Advertiser News Services

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Brian Ching

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Kamehameha Schools alum Brian Ching is expected to be sidelined for 4 to 6 weeks because of a strained left hamstring, an injury that could prevent him from returning to the field before the U.S. World Cup team gathers in mid-May.

The Houston Dynamo forward was injured in last Thursday's Major League Soccer home opener.

Dynamo spokesman Lester Gretsch said yesterday that the 31-year-old Ching had an MRI on Monday that revealed the strain.

Ching was a member of the 2006 U.S. World Cup team and has 11 goals in 44 international appearances.

Ching and Colorado's Conor Casey have been competing to make the 23-man roster.

FOOTBALL

BROWNS COMPLETE TRADE WITH EAGLES

The Cleveland Browns say they have completed the trade with Philadelphia for cornerback Sheldon Brown and linebacker Chris Gocong.

The team was awaiting results on physicals for both players. Cleveland sent linebacker Alex Hall and two picks Nos. 105 and 137 overall in this month's draft to the Eagles for Brown, a former Pro Bowler, and Gocong.

Browns general manager Tom Heckert has a background with both Brown and Gocong as the three worked together in Philadelphia. Heckert wants to improve the AFC's worst defense and said Brown and Gocong will make us "better and deeper."

SOCCER

HEADSCARF GETS IRAN GIRLS OUSTED

Iran's girls' soccer team was thrown out of the Youth Olympics because FIFA rules prevent players from wearing an Islamic headscarf.

Thailand replaces Iran in the August tournament, the governing body of Asian soccer said on its Web site Monday.

The hijab scarf worn by girls and women to observe Islamic dress code was not allowed under FIFA rules relating to on-field equipment, the Asian Football Confederation said. Iran's national Olympic committee had urged soccer's international ruling body and the International Olympic Committee to review the ban.

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke rejected the Iranian Olympic panel's request in a letter to the national soccer federation. He said the FIFA executive committee had "no choice but to take the decision."

FIFA maintains that soccer's international rulebook contains a section on player equipment, stating that "basic compulsory equipment must not have any political, religious or personal statements."

TENNIS

NO. 2 BONDARENKO FALLS IN MPS GROUP

Unseeded Olga Govortsova upset second-seeded Alona Bondarenko, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0, yesterday in the MPS Group Championships at Ponte Vedra, Fla.

Eighth-seeded American Melanie Oudin beat Rossana De Los Rios, 7-5, 6-2, while defending champion Caroline Wozniacki, ranked No. 2 in the world, beat Patty Schnyder, 6-0, 6-4.

CRUISING TO EARLY WINS IN MOROCCO

Jarkko Nieminen of Finland and 2009 runner-up Florent Serra of France won in straight sets to advance to the second round of the Grand Prix Hassan II yesterday at Casablanca, Morocco.

Nieminen won 10 straight games in routing Mehdi Ziadi of Morocco, 6-1, 6-1. Serra defeated beat 2004 champion Santiago Ventura of Spain, 6-4, 6-3.

Top-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland had a first-round bye.

TRACK AND FIELD

SEMENYA WAITS FOR GENDER TEST RESULTS

Caster Semenya intends to return to competition June 24 at a meet in Zaragoza, Spain, agreeing to wait for the results of her gender tests before coming back.

The 800-meter world champion said in a statement that Athletics South Africa requested she hold off until the test results, which are expected in June.

The 19-year-old South African wanted confirmation from the IAAF that her situation would be clarified by the beginning of June.