Vormer awarded with first Netherlands call-up for friendlies

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) Coach Ronald Koeman has called up FC Brugge midfielder Ruud Vormer for the first time as part of his 25-man Netherlands squad to play friendlies against Slovakia and Italy.

Vormer earned his inclusion as a key member of the Brugge team that won the Belgian league.

Huddersfield defender Terence Kongolo was in the squad announced on Friday and could play his first international since November 2015.

The Netherlands did not qualify for the World Cup in Russia and Koeman is in the process of rebuilding the team that has failed to qualify for the last two major tournaments after reaching the semifinals of the World Cup in Brazil four years ago.

The Netherlands plays Slovakia on May 31 in Trnava, and faces Italy on June 4 in Turin.