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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 May, 2005, 11:07 GMT 12:07 UK
Crouch nets England squad call-up
Southampton striker Peter Crouch
Southampton striker Peter Crouch has been named in the England squad to tour the United States at the end of May.

The 6ft 7in hitman has been in fine form for the Saints as they fight to avoid relegation and he receives his first call-up from Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Liverpool goalkeeper Scott Carson is also included for the first time and there is a recall for Tottenham's in-form midfielder Michael Carrick.

England face the USA on 28 May and Colombia three days later.

"It's a massive bonus. I was really disappointed to get sent off last week, and not being able to play against Manchester United left me a bit down," Crouch told BBC Radio Solent.

"I've been pleased with the season I've had, especially the second half. I've been playing a lot more, and scoring a few goals, and the England call is a nice way to round off the season.

"First and foremost though my priority is that Southampton stay up," he added.

Eriksson believes Crouch's height gives England a different option on tour and paid tribute to the striker's footballing abilities.

"He's different, very different. When you go into a tournament, you should have one big striker," said Eriksson.

"If you put the ball up there, he will win it. His touch is not bad at all and if you are trying to break a team down maybe you could put on Peter Crouch.

Man Utd: Wayne Rooney (rest), Rio Ferdinand (knee)
Chelsea: John Terry, Frank Lampard (toe surgery)
Newcastle: Kieron Dyer (hamstring), Nicky Butt (injured)
Spurs: Paul Robinson (knee)

Real Madrid: David Beckham, Michael Owen
Bayern Munich: Owen Hargreaves

"I'm not saying that I will definitely do it but it will certainly help to have a look at him in America."

Eriksson is without many players due to club commitments and because managers want them to rest at the end of a long season.

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand will not go on the trip after boss Sir Alex Ferguson asked Eriksson to allow the pair to rest.

Of the other players who are missing, Spurs keeper Paul Robinson is out with a knee injury and Chelsea pair John Terry and Frank Lampard both need minor operations.

Newcastle midfielders Kieron Dyer and Nicky Butt have also been troubled by injury problems which look likely to rule them out of the squad to be named on Thursday.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and defender Jamie Carragher are unavailable because of their club's involvement in the Champions League final in Istanbul.

Real Madrid pair Michael Owen and David Beckham and Bayern Munich's Owen Hargreaves will arrive for the second game only.

Birmingham striker Emile Heskey has been left out of the 22-man squad despite being picked for the World Cup qualifiers against Northern Ireland and Azerbaijan in March.

England squad to tour the United States in May:

Green (Norwich), Carson (Liverpool), James (Manchester City) Campbell (Arsenal), Upson (Birmingham), Brown (Manchester United), G Neville (Manchester United), A Cole (Arsenal), P Neville (Manchester United), Johnson (Chelsea), Jenas (Newcastle), Downing (Middlesbrough), Beckham (Real Madrid), Carrick (Tottenham), J Cole (Chelsea), Hargreaves (Bayern Munich) Wright-Phillips (Manchester City), Smith (Manchester United), Owen (Real Madrid), Crouch (Southampton), A Johnson (Crystal Palace), Defoe (Tottenham).

Interview: England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson on Peter Crouch


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