Late call-up offers Doherty his chance

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Gary Doherty will be hoping to gatecrash the Republic of Ireland's squad for the World Cup finals which begin in South Korea and Japan next month.

The 22-year-old Tottenham player has been called into the squad for tomorrow's friendly against the United States in Dublin as a replacement for Sunderland's Niall Quinn, who has a neck injury.

The Irish manager Mick McCarthy has been boosted by the recovery from injury of four players who all turned up fit for training. There had been doubts over Richard Dunne, Steve Staunton, Clinton Morrison and Kevin Kilbane.

The US coach, Bruce Arena, intends to use the encounter to toughen up his World Cup hopefuls.

Arena believes that his players lack the more physical edge of those in Europe, and, with Portugal and Poland in their World Cup group, he realises his American side have to start getting tough.

"Clearly our European opponents bring a physical presence to the game," he said. "Therefore, our team needs to be better prepared for the physical challenges throughout the 90 minutes."