Israel national football team manager Eli Guttman has picked his squad that will feature in two friendlies vs. Honduras and Mexico.
With Honduras and Mexico getting ready to play in the World Cup, Israel will battle the two nations to help them get ready for the tough competition expected this summer in Brazil.
The match vs. Mexico will take place in the legendary Estadio Azteca on May 28. Some reports have suggested that 85-100,000 Mexico supporters will attend the match. The match vs. Honduras will take place in Houston, Texas on June 1st.
Israel defeated Honduras last summer in Citi Field thanks to goals by Hen Ezra and Shimon Abihazira. After failing to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, the national team has set its eyes on the 2016 European Qualifications which will kick off September 9.
All players called up by Guttman are scheduled to meet on Tuesday afternoon. The team will hold 2-3 practices open to the media and then will depart for the United States on Saturday night.
Israeli legend Yossi Benayoun is returning to the national team after not being featured in Israel’s friendly vs. Slovakia on March 5. Benayoun, who has represented the national team 93 times in his career, is one appearance away from tying Arik Benado for most appearances all-time in the blue-and-white uniform.
Kobi Moyal and Moanes Dabur who have both had successful stints in Europe this season received their first international call up.
Celtic midfielder Nir Biton was not called to the team due to an injury in his groin. Other notable players who were not called up were Itay Shecter, Eliran Atar and Maor Melikson.
Israel Friendly Roster:
GK: Ariel Harush (Beitar Jerusalem), Ofir Martziano (Ashdod FC), Guy Haimov (Kiryat Shmona)
Defenders: Avi Rikan (FC Zurich), Omri Ben Harush (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Sheran Yeini (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Eitan Tibi (Maccbi TLV), Orel Dgani (Hapoel Tel Aviv), Rami Gershon (Gent), Yuval Spungin (Mons), Tal Ben Haim II (Standard)
Midfielders: Eran Zahavi (Maccabi TLV), Maor Buzgalo (Hapoel Beer Sheva), Lior Refaelov (Club Brugge), Bibras Natkho (POAK), Yossi Benayoun, (QPR), Kobi Moyal (1st appearance, Moldova), Beram Kayal (Celtic) & Gili Vermuth (Hap TLV)
Forwards: Elyaniv Barda (Hapoel Beer Sheva), Omer Damari (Hapoel TLV), Eden Ben Basat (Toulouse FC), Ben Sahar (Arminia Bielefeld) & Moanes Dabour (Grasshoppers).
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