David Beckham could be sidelined up to six weeks after cracking a rib during England's 2-0 World Cup qualifying victory over Wales on Saturday, during which he scored a goal and drew a suspension for the next game.
The England captain will return today to Real Madrid, his Spanish league club, rather than accompany his national team to Wednesday's qualifier in Azerbaijan.
With Beckham injured and suspended for the game, there's no reason for him to travel with the team. He picked up his second yellow card of the qualifying tournament, ruling him out of England's next game.
Michael Owen is set to take over the captaincy and Shaun Wright-Phillips likely will take Beckham's position in midfield. . . .
Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago moved into prime position to advance to next year's regional finals of qualifying for the 2006 World Cup.
Mexico won, 1-0, at St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Jared Bogetti's goal in the 30th minute, and Trinidad defeated visiting St. Kitts and Nevis, 5-1, behind two goals by Stern John, who increased his total in qualifying this year to six. In Group C of the CONCACAF semifinals, Mexico (3-0) and Trinidad (3-1) each have nine points. St. Vincent (1-3) has three and St. Kitts (0-3) none. . . .
Cindy Parlow scored twice, and Mia Hamm added a goal and an assist to lead the U.S. women's national team over New Zealand, 6-0, in Cincinnati.
The exhibition game was part of the team's "Fan Appreciation Tour" after winning Olympic gold this summer in Athens. After the 10-match tour, team mainstays Hamm, Julie Foudy and Joy Fawcett plan to retire from international play.
* RUNNING: Kenya's Luke Metto beat countryman Wilson Kigen in a photo finish to win the Boston Athletic Association Half Marathon.
Lornah Kiplagat of the Netherlands was never seriously challenged in capturing the women's race in her tuneup for the New York City Marathon.
Metto and Kigen broke away with about a half-mile left in the 13.1-mile race and were neck-and-neck until Metto made a move 70 yards from the finish. Kigen tried to catch his workout partner but Metto finished first in a course record 1 hour 2 minutes 57 seconds.
Kigen recorded the same time but came in two paces after Metto in the closest finish in the race's four-year history. Morocco's Abderrahim Haji was third at 1:02:59, followed by Kenya's Gilbert Koech at 1:03:03.
The BAA observed a moment of silence for Johnny Kelley, who died Wednesday at 97. Kelley ran the Boston Marathon a record 61 times, winning twice. . . .
Ethiopia's Eshetu Bekele won the Beirut International Marathon, leading a 1-2-3 African sweep. Bekele finished in 2:17:37. He was 23 seconds ahead of Kenya's David Kuino in the 26.2-mile race. Ethiopia's Fikadi Degetu was third in 2:19:16.
* HORSE RACING: The Maryland Jockey Club said that the handle from Saturday's Maryland Million horse races totaled about $6.5 million, just off last year's record of about $6.6 million.
The $4.6 million bet on the Pimlico card was a record for Maryland Million races.
-- From News Services