Andrija Novakovich 'honoured' after U.S. call-up for Paraguay game

Striker Andrija Novakovich has said he is "proud and honoured" after being called up to the senior U.S. squad for the friendly against Paraguay later this month.

Striker Novakovich, 21 -- on loan at Dutch club Telstar from Reading -- was called up to Dave Sarachan's squad after scoring 18 goals so far this season.

He told NH News he hoped to get playing time against Paraguay and said his spell at Telstar had helped him develop as a player.

"It's a good feeling to get the call-up and hopefully it will be a very good experience," he said.

"They [the U.S. national team] sent the club and myself an email saying that I was on the preliminary roster and we were just waiting, and then this week I got another email saying I was on the final roster.

"I called my Mum right away and she's proud, she's happy.

"I'm just there for the experience -- of course I want to play, of course I want to get the opportunity and hopefully that will happen, It's an honour to be called up and I'm very proud and very happy."

Novakovich thanked his Telstar colleagues for their backing, adding: "I think it helped to come here and play first-team football -- it's a competitive environment and that's what I came here for.

"Thankfully the team, the coaches and the staff and everyone have been very supportive of me, and Reading have talked to me after almost every game, asking how I'm doing and keeping tabs on me."

Novakovich, born in Wisconsin, played for Chicago Magic before joining Reading in 2014.

He spent a loan spell at Cheltenham in the 2015-16 season and signed a new two-year contract at Reading before making the move to Telstar.

Meanwhile, midfielder Kekuta Manneh was added to the squad on Monday.

Manneh, who plays for Mexican club Pachuca, was born in Gambia but became a U.S. citizen two years ago.