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Forward Shannon MacMillan (above)has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee and likely will miss the Women's World Cup later this year.

MacMillan, a star on the U.S. national team, was hurt Sunday night playing for the San Diego Spirit of the WUSA.

She's expected to have reconstructive surgery Wednesday to repair the completely torn ACL, a partially torn medial collateral ligament and some cartilage damage.

It usually takes at least six months to recover from an ACL injury, and the Women's World Cup is currently scheduled from mid-September to early October.

MacMillan has scored 58 career goals in 153 games for the U.S. women's team.

"I can speak for the whole team when I say that we are very disappointed for Shannon that the injury comes at this time in her long and illustrious career," women's national coach April Heinrichs said in a statement. "The most difficult thing to swallow is that she is playing the best soccer of her career. As a coaching staff, we would be hard-pressed to find a more committed and focused player right now, and the injury couldn't come at worse time for Shannon and our team."

MacMillan was hurt eight minutes into the Spirit's match against the Boston Breakers on Sunday night. She was reaching for a free ball with her left leg while planting with her right, which buckled and sent MacMillan to the ground.

MacMillan is the Spirit's career leading scorer with 18 goals and 17 assists.

Sepp Blatter, the president of soccer's governing body, has called the United States the "front-runner" to take over the 16-nation championship, which had been scheduled in China, but will be moved because of SARS.

The United States and Sweden were the only nations to submit complete bids to host the Women's World Cup, and FIFA will try to make a decision by the end of next week.

FIFA spokesman Andreas Herren said Monday the bids by the Americans and Swedes were being forwarded to the emergency committee, along with Canada's offer to host one group of the tournament in Edmonton, Alberta, if the event is awarded to the United States.

Bona hires Gee
away from Charleston

Former University of Charleston coach Jayson Gee has accepted a position on St. Bonaventure's staff, Bona coach Anthony Solomon said today.

Gee, 160-55 in seven years at Charleston, joins Solomon, who is in his first year at Olean, after coaching the Golden Eagles to three Division II East Regional appearances and two West Virginia Conference tournament championships.

Gee also won two WVIAC regular-season championships.

"It's a steal getting Jayson to join our program," said Solomon, a longtime friend of Gee's. "Jayson has all the skills and experience needed to be my top assistant."

"The opportunity to join forces with my Christian brother, Anthony Solomon, was the No. 1 reason I am coming to St. Bonaventure," Gee said. "He is a man I have a great deal of respect for and I think is the consummate leader. We have a tremendous challenge ahead at St. Bonaventure, but I have always been attracted to challenges."

Gee has also worked as an assistant at Youngstown State and Ohio University.

In other college basketball news, Kentucky announced the signings of two 7-footers, Shagari Alleyne and Lukasz Obrzut, for the first time in its history. Both signed during the spring period that ended Thursday.

"I'm excited about the chance to coach two 7-footers like Shagari and 'Woo,' " Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said.

According to Kentucky officials, Obrzut (7-1, 240) and Alleyne (7-2, 260) will be the fourth and fifth 7-footers to wear a Kentucky uniform. The others were Bill Spivey (1950-1952), Tom Payne (1970-1971) and Sam Bowie (1980-1984). Bowie, at 7-1, was the tallest of that trio.

Safin withdraws
from French Open

Former U.S. Open champion Marat Safin (right) withdrew from the French Open with a wrist injury.

American Robby Ginepri also pulled out with a similar injury, tournament organizers said in a statement. The clay-court event starts at Roland Garros on May 26.

American Cecil Mamiit and Mariano Puerta of Argentina will replace them in the draw.

On the women's side, Luxembourg's Anne Kremer pulled out with a wrist injury and Sweden's Asa Svensson did the same because of an ankle injury. They will be replaced by Japan's Akiko Morigami and Libuse Prusova of the Czech Republic.

ECC baseball ousted
at NJCAA Series

Erie Community College's baseball season ended Monday as the Kats fell, 7-3, to Columbus (Ohio) State Community College in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III World Series at Dwyer Stadium in Batavia.

Carl Aquila (St. Mary's Lancaster) and B.J. Stack (Iroquois) each went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Losing pitcher Matt Clingersmith (5-4) pitched 6 2/3 innings while giving up four earned runs.

ECC finished the season at 34-17 after going 1-2 in the double-elimination series.

Around & about

Brad Smyth and Bob Wren scored two goals apiece -- and the Binghamton Senators scored four unanswered goals in a span of 5:13 of the third period -- to post a come-from-behind 6-4 win over the Hamilton Bulldogs in Game Three of the AHL Eastern Conference Finals. Game Four of the series, which Hamilton leads, 2-1, is tonight in Binghamton.

World champion Mario Cipollini failed to win a wild-card entry into the July 5 Tour de France. Race officials gave the four remaining spots to French teams Brioches La Boulangere, AG2R, Jean Delatour and Spanish team Euskaltel.

The Ontario Hockey League's Kitchener Rangers and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Hull Olympiques, both 1-0, meet tonight in round robin play in the Memorial Cup. Sabres draft pick Derek Roy scored twice as Kitchener won its opener Saturday, 4-3, over the host Quebec Remparts. The Remparts lost Monday to the Kelowna Rockets, 3-2. The Rangers and the Rockets play Wednesday. The final will be played Saturday.

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