Kaka recalled for Brazil friendlies
RIO DE JANEIRO: Orlando City midfielder Kaka was the surprise inclusion in Brazil's squad for the September friendlies against Costa Rica and the United States.
The 33-year-old former AC Milan and Real Madrid player was included in a much-changed squad after being left out of the 2015 Copa America and 2014 World Cup.
Paris Saint-Germain forward Lucas, Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista, and Zenit's Hulk were also recalled, while young Santos midfielder Lucas Lima was selected for the first time.
Former captain Thiago Silva and Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho were among those dropped for matches Dunga will use to help him decide on his team for Brazil's first two World Cup qualifiers in October.
Dunga highlighted the need for youth and experience and said Kaka, who has played well for the Florida club since joining last year, will help the younger members of the squad.
"Kaka is a reference, like Robinho before him," Dunga told reporters. "He gives us experience and maturity when times are difficult, when we need it off the field and on.
"We need to bring in young players to give them experience and have older players there to help them," he added.
Barcelona forward Neymar was included in the squad even though he is injured and ineligible for Brazil's first two World Cup qualifiers having still to complete the four-match ban he received in the 1-0 loss to Colombia in the Copa America.
After winning 10 friendlies in a row under Dunga, Brazil lost their second group game in the Copa America to Colombia and were then knocked out by Paraguay on penalties in the quarter-finals.
Brazil play Costa Rica in New Jersey on Sept. 5 and then head to Foxborough to face the United States three days later.
They open their World Cup qualifying campaign away to Copa America champions Chile in October.
Their first two home games will be against Venezuela in Fortaleza in October and Peru in Salvador in November, officials announced.
Jefferson (Botafogo), Marcelo Grohe (Gremio), Allison (Internacional), David Luiz (Paris St. Germain), Marquinhos (Paris St. Germain), Miranda (Inter Milan), Gabriel Paulista (Arsenal), Dani Alves (Barcelona), Douglas Santos (Atletico Mineiro), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Danilo (Real Madrid), Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg), Elias (Corinthians), Ramires (Chelsea), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Oscar (Chelsea), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Willian (Chelsea), Kaka (Orlando City), Lucas Lima (Santos), Neymar (Barcelona), Lucas (Paris St. Germain), Hulk (Zenit St. Petersburg), Douglas Costa (Bayern Munich)