LONDON (AP) — Andy Carroll has been recalled to the England squad for the first time since October for friendlies against Ireland and Brazil.

The burly striker, who is on loan at West Ham from Liverpool, will be competing for a spot up front alongside Jermain Defoe, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck.

Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy has been named in an England squad for the first time, but is likely to be behind Joe Hart and Ben Foster.

"He deserves it because he's playing well," England coach Roy Hodgson said.

England plays Ireland at Wembley Stadium on May 29 before traveling to Brazil to play on June 2.

Captain Steven Gerrard is out injured, so Hodgson said he will ask defender Ashley Cole if he wants the armband to mark being presented with his 100th cap before the Ireland game.

Frank Lampard and Rooney are the other options for captain.



Goalkeepers: Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Alex McCarthy (Reading)

Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Joleon Lescott (Manchester City), Kyle Walker (Tottenham)

Midfielders: Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Theo Walcott (Arsenal)

Strikers: Andy Carroll (West Ham), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United)