Richardson and Knight earn surprise England calls

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Kieran Richardson's fine end to the season continued yesterday after he and the Fulham defender Zat Knight were unexpectedly called up to the England squad to tour the United States later this month.

Kieran Richardson's fine end to the season continued yesterday after he and the Fulham defender Zat Knight were unexpectedly called up to the England squad to tour the United States later this month.

The pair were called into the squad by Sven Goran Eriksson after Shaun Wright-Phillips and Matthew Upson withdrew because of injuries. It is the first squad call-up for both the Manchester United midfielder Richardson, 20, who has played a key role in keeping West Bromwich Albion in the Premiership after joining on loan in January, and Knight, a central defender.

"I've seen Kieran play on a number of occasions this season and there is no doubt he's a tremendous young talent," Eriksson said. "He's taken his chance with West Bromwich Albion in the second half of the season and has played a significant role in keeping the club up. He's impressed me and I look forward to having him with us."

Richardson played three times for England Under-21s last season but the 6ft 6in Knight, now 25, must have thought his senior chances had gone despite being capped at Under-21 level several years ago.

"Zat is a player I have been aware of for some time," Eriksson said. "He has all the attributes to be a top defender so it will be interesting to see how he does with us on this tour."

Wright-Phillips pulled out yesterday with a knee injury while Upson has withdrawn due to a hernia. Although Tottenham's Michael Dawson had been on stand-by, he has a calf injury.

Richardson and Knight will join the squad in Manchester next Tuesday before flying to Chicago. England play the US in Chicago on Saturday 28 May and Colombia in New Jersey the following Tuesday.

Brian McBride, the Fulham striker, is in line to earn his 86th cap after being named in Bruce Arena's US squad. The 32-year-old is the most experienced player in the 19-strong group. Several Europe-based players will not face England, including Manchester City's Claudio Reyna and Manchester United goalkeeper Tim Howard.

US SQUAD (v England, Chicago, 28 May): Hahnemann (Reading), Keller (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Thornton (Chicago Fire), Berhalter (Energie Cottbus), Bocanegra (Fulham), Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Gibbs (Feyenoord), Onyewu (Standard Liege), Vanney (FC Dallas), Convey (Reading), Dempsey (New England Revolution), Donovan (LA Galaxy), Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids), O'Brien (ADO Den Haag), Ralston (New England Revolution), Simms (DC United), Casey (FSV Mainz), Johnson (FC Dallas), McBride (Fulham).

Comments