Ajax defender Johnny Heitinga has been picked by coach Dick Advocaat for Holland's national team, who face the USA in a friendly on Wednesday 18 February. It is the first time that Heitinga has been selected for Holland's top squad. Ajax players Rafael van der Vaart and Wesley Sneijder have also been called up. Nigel de Jong, who was preselected, did not make the final cut but will play with Holland under 21.
Heitinga (20) came back from a serious knee injury at the beginning of the season and has been a starter for Ajax as the team's central defender since November. ,,This is a dream come true'', Heitinga said. ,,It is a big honour to play for Holland; I am very proud and I see this as a reward for all the work I had to do to come back from my injury.''
Heitinga will face a teammate in the test match against the USA in the Amsterdam ArenA. John O'Brien has been called up by Team USA.
Holland's squad: Van der Sar (Fulham), Waterreus (PSV), Frank de Boer (Glasgow Rangers), Bouma (PSV), Heitinga (Ajax), Stam (Lazio Roma), Reiziger (FC Barcelona), Zenden (Middlesbrough), Van Bommel (PSV), Davids, Cocu (both FC Barcelona), Van der Vaart, Sneijder (both Ajax), Seedorf (AC Milan), Van Hooijdonk (Fenerbahce), Makaay (Bayern München), Van der Meyde (Internazionale), Van Nistelrooy (Manchester United), Robben (PSV) and Overmars (FC Barcelona).
Patrick Kluivert is absent due to a knee injury.
On Tuesday 17 February, Nigel de Jong will play a friendly match against England with Holland under 21.
Wesley Sonck, Jelle van Damme and Tom Soetaers have been selected for the national team of Belgium, who play a friendly against France on Wednesday. On that same day, Tomás Galásek and Zdenek Grygera play a test match with the Czech Rebublic against Italy.