Australia trim preliminary World Cup squad to 26 players
Australia have trimmed their World Cup squad to 26 players who will join the Socceroo's pre-tournament training camp in Turkey.
Six players who had been named to the preliminary squad last week did not make the cut: forwards Apostolos Giannou and Jamie Maclaren, defenders Alex Gersbach, Aleksandar Susnjar and Bailey Wright, and goalkeeper Mitch Langerak.
Still with the team are two uncapped players: Melbourne City's 19-year-old forward Daniel Arzani and defender Fran Karacic, who turned 22 on Saturday.
The Socceroos' all-time leading goal scorer, Tim Cahill, is also still in contention to play for his country at a fourth World Cup.
The squad features five players from the A-League: Arzani, Joshua Brillante, Dimitri Petratos, Josh Risdon, and James Troisi.
Australia boss Bert van Marwijk must trim three more players before the World Cup, with an announcement set for June 3, two days after a friendly against Czech Republic is Austria.
The final team will then travel to Hungary for a final friendly on June 9 before heading to Russia, where France, Denmark and Peru await in the group stage.
"It is always a challenging task to reduce a squad, however this is the nature of professional sport at the highest level," said van Marwijk. "Overall, I believe we have named a strong and ambitious squad for our training camp in Turkey and friendly against Czech Republic in Austria."
"I am sure that in training in Antalya, and in our match against the Czech Republic, we will see players pushing to go to a higher level as they compete for a place in the final squad," he said.
The 26-man squad:
Goalkeepers: Brad Jones (Feyenoord), Mat Ryan (Brighton), Danny Vukovic (Genk)
Defenders: Aziz Behich (Bursaspor), Milos Degenek (Yokohama F. Marinos), Matthew Jurman (Suwon Samsung Bluewings), Fran Karacic (Lokomotiva), James Meredith (Millwall), Josh Risdon (Western Sydney Wanderers), Trent Sainsbury (Grasshoppers)
Midfielders: Josh Brillante (Sydney FC), Jackson Irvine (Hull), Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa), Robbie Kruse (Bochum), Massimo Luongo (Queens Park Rangers), Mark Milligan (Al Ahli), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield), Tom Rogic (Celtic), James Troisi (Melbourne Victory)
Forwards: Daniel Arzani (Melbourne City), Tim Cahill (Millwall), Tomi Juric (FC Luzern), Mathew Leckie (Hertha Berlin), Andrew Nabbout (Urawa Red Diamonds), Dimitri Petratos (Newcastle Jets), Nikita Rukavytsya (Maccabi Haifa)