Uncapped duo get call up
By Peter ORourke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Zat Knight and Kieran Richardson have been called up to the England squad.Zat Knight and Kieran Richardson have been called up to the England squad for the forthcoming tour of the US.
England coach Sven Goran Eriksson named his squad for the trip to America last week, but has seen his options limited by several withdrawals.
Chelsea duo John Terry and Frank Lampard, Manchester United pair Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney and Liverpool aces Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher have all been forced to miss the tour.
Richardson had been on stand-by for the tour after an impressive loan spell at West Brom and he has been given the call after Manchester City ace Shaun Wright Phillips was forced out with an injury.
Birmingham defender Matthew Upson has also pulled out of the squad with a hernia problem and although Tottenham's Michael Dawson was on stand-by to make the squad he was also forced to withdraw due to injury.
The injuries to the central defensive duo has cleared the way for Zat Knight to win his first call-up to the senior squad. I've seen Kieran play on a number of occasions this season and there is no doubt he's a tremendous young talent.
Eriksson admitted he has been impressed by the uncapped duo this season.
"He's (Richardson) 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.
"I hope he can make the most of this opportunity with England just as he has done with West Brom.
"Zat is a player I have been aware of for some time.
"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.
"It's an opportunity for him to show he has the ability to play at the very highest level so it's a good chance for him."
England are scheduled to play two games on the tour against the United States and Colombia later this month.