Curtis Good, Adam Sarota and Josh Brillante have been cut from the Socceroos 27-man preliminary squad that will travel to Brazil for next month's World Cup.
Socceroos head coach Ange Postecoglou announced the trimmed down squad on Tuesday saying it was difficult to leave out the three players who worked hard during the two-week training camp in Gosford.
Good, 21 has struggled to overcome a hip flexor injury picked up in the Socceroos game against Ecuadaor in March while Sarota, 25, is not long back from a knee reconstruction. Postecoglou said he rated Brillante highly but their was strong competition for the 21-year-old's position in midfield.
Mark Bresciano, Tim Cahill, Mark Milligan, Josh Kennedy and Luke Wilkshire are still on track to represent Australia at three straight FIFA World Cups while defender Bailey Wright is the only uncapped player in the squad.
Ben Halloran became the 572nd footballer to pull on the green and gold Socceroos shirt during the 1-1 draw with South Africa at ANZ Stadium on Monday night.
The preliminary squad includes nine players from the A-League, four goalkeepers, seven defenders, 11 midfielders and five strikers.
Postecoglou agonized long and hard over the composition of the 27-man travelling party and declared all three players left out would fight their way back into the Socceroos squad in the future.
“It was tough trimming the squad to 27 because all three boys did absolutely everything asked of them over the 12 days of the camp,” Postecoglou said. “Adam (Sarota), Josh (Brillante) Curtis (Good) will bounce back but it is up to the remaining 27 players to realize how quickly the opportunity they now have in front of them can evaporate.
“We now leave for Brazil with 27 players and I’m looking forward to seeing the same levels of enthusiasm and buy-in to the hard work we have in front of us to ensure we continue to improve and embrace the football I want us to play,
“These 27 young Australians now have a great opportunity to gain one of the 23 places in the final squad and they will all push each other to lift the team.”
The Socceroos depart Australia on Wednesday morning, travelling to Vitoria via Santiago (Chile) and Curitiba (Brazil).
SOCCEROOS 27-MAN PRELIMINARY SQUAD TO TRAVEL TO BRAZIL FOR THE 2014 FIFA WORLD CUP
Mark BIRIGHITTI (Newcastle Jets FC, AUSTRALIA)
Eugene GALEKOVIC (Adelaide United FC, AUSTRALIA)
Mitchell LANGERAK (B.V. Borussia 09 Dortmund, GERMANY)
Mat RYAN (Club Brugge KV, BELGIUM)
Jason DAVIDSON (SC Heracles Almelo, NETHERLANDS)
Ivan FRANJIC (Brisbane Roar FC, AUSTRALIA)
Ryan McGOWAN (Shandong Luneng Taishan FC, CHINA)
Matthew SPIRANOVIC (Western Sydney Wanderers FC, AUSTRALIA)
Alex WILKINSON (Jeonbuk Hyundai FC, KOREA REPUBLIC)
Luke WILKSHIRE (FK Dinamo Moscow, RUSSIA)
Bailey WRIGHT (Preston North End FC, ENGLAND)
Oliver BOZANIC (FC Luzern, SWITZERLAND)
Mark BRESCIANO (Al Gharafa, QATAR)
James HOLLAND (FK Austria Vienna, AUSTRIA)
Mile JEDINAK (Crystal Palace FC, ENGLAND)
Massimo LUONGO (Swindon Town FC, ENGLAND)
Matthew McKAY (Brisbane ROAR FC, AUSTRALIA)
Mark MILLIGAN (Melbourne Victory FC, AUSTRALIA)
Tommy OAR (FC Utrecht, NETHERLANDS)
Tommy ROGIC (Melbourne Victory FC, AUSTRALIA)
James TROISI (Melbourne Victory FC, AUSTRALIA)
Dario VIDOSIC (FC Sion, SWITZERLAND)
Tim CAHILL (New York Red Bulls, USA)
Ben HALLORAN (Fortuna Dusseldorf, GERMANY)
Josh KENNEDY (Nagoya Grampus 8, JAPAN)
Matthew LECKIE (FSV Frankfurt 1899, GERMANY)
Adam TAGGART (Newcastle Jets FC, AUSTRALIA)
PRE WORLD CUP WARM UP MATCHES – TRAINING GAMES
Monday 2 June
Training game v Parana Clube (Curitiba-based second division club)
Estadio Engenheiro Araripe (Socceroos training base)
Friday 6 June
Socceroos v Croatia
Pituacu Stadium, Salvador
Kick off: 8pmcomments