Striker Nguy​en C​ong Phuong (left) will have a chance to compete with veteran L​e Cong Vinh in upcoming tournaments. (Photo: vcmedia.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) - Coach Nguyen Huu Thang of Vietnam’s national team selected 24 players on May 18 for the upcoming friendly match with Syria on May 31 and a four-sided tournament in Myanmar June 3-6.

Among players named on the list, Thang convened three players of Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) who are playing for foreign teams, namely midfielders Nguyen Tuan Anh (Japan’s Yokohama FC) and Luong Xuan Truong (Republic of Korea’s Incheon United FC), as well as striker Nguyen Cong Phuong (Mito Holly Hock FC of Japan).

According to Tran Quoc Tuan, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Football Federation, all clubs of the three aforementioned players have agreed to let them return to Vietnam to wear the national jersey for these events.

Although HAGL ranked 11th out of 14 teams in the national premier league, the team contributed two more players to the list with Vu Van Thanh and Nguyen Van Toan.

Thang also called upon veterans who are familiar to Vietnamese fans, including goalies Tran Nguyen Manh of Song Lam Nghr An and Phi Minh Long of Hanoi T&T; midfielder Dinh Tien Thanh of Can Tho; defenders Que Ngoc Hai of Song Lam Nghe An and Bui Tien Dung of Viettel; and striker Le Cong Vinh of Binh Duong.

Notably, Thang called upon overseas Vietnamese goalkeeper Dang Van Lam of Hai Phong to replace Bui Tuan Truong.

However, naturalised footballers such as Hanoi T&T’s Hoang Vu Samson and Hai Phong’s Le Van Phu weren’t named on Thang’s list.

“There are many good players in the world, but they aren’t called to the national team because, apart from skills, they need to match the team’s way of playing,” Thang said. “With Vietnam’s team, I am temporarily satisfied with the present footballers. Maybe we will call naturalised footballers in the near future.”

Vietnam will play Hong Kong in the first match of a four-sided tournament in Myanmar on June 3.

In another match, the hosts will face Singapore. Two winners will advance to the final, while those who lose will play in the third-place play-offs two days later. The champions will walk away with 20,000 USD.

The tournaments will help Vietnam prepare for the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Cup in November, with Myanmar and the Philippines as co-hosts.-VNA