JOHANNESBURG, May 18 (Reuters) - Penpix of South Africa's preliminary, 30-man squad for the World Cup finals:
Rowen Fernandez (Arminia Bielefeld, Germany). Goalkeeper. Born Feb. 28 1978. Caps: 23. Goals: 0.
Injury-prone goalkeeper who was South Africa's first choice when coach Carlos Alberto Parreira took over but has lost his place and gone through a myriad of knee troubles. A surprise inclusion in the preliminary squad given that he has played only 14 minutes of league football in Germany's second division this season.
Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates). Goalkeeper. Born May 19 1980 Caps: 16. Goals: 0.
A strong club season and injuries to other goalkeeping contenders make him now the second choice for the country. A little on the short side at 1.84 metres but plays with great agility and loads of passion.
Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs). Goalkeeper. Born June 20 1987. Caps: 25. Goals: 0.
Was called up to the South African squad before he had even played a senior game at club level but the potential spotted then has been realised with his elevation to first choice in the team. Slept in train stations so he could get to practice on time at his club while in the Chiefs' youth academy
Shu-Aib Walters (Maritzburg United). Goalkeeper. Born Dec. 26 1981. Caps: 0. Goals: 0.
Added to the squad after Emile Baron hurt his shoulder at March's training camp in Brazil and was ruled out of the World Cup. Cape Town-born Walters demanded a loan move away from his club Bloemfontein Celtic in December when he lost his place in the first team to a goalkeeper from Cameroon.
Matthew Booth (Mamelodi Sundowns). Defender. Born March 14 1977. Caps: 27. Goals: 1.
Stands close to two metres tall and has become an iconic symbol in the team as one of the few white players but has a huge following among black fans. His surname is chanted every time he touches the ball, which sounds like a barracking but is symbolic of the endearment he commands.
Bevan Fransman (Maccabi Netanya, Israel). Defender. Oct. 31 1983. Caps: 13. Goals: 0.
Fransman was a late inclusion in the squad after injury to Morgan Gould, having surprisingly been left out of the original line-up by coach Parreira. A lanky and slight defender, he is the author of some spectacular long-range goals. He played briefly in Belgium before returning home but moved on to Israel in 2008.
Siboniso Gaxa (Mamelodi Sundowns). Defender. Born April 6 1984. Caps: 35. Goals: 0.
Hard-running right back who is an added foil on the attack but by his own admission needs to work on his crosses. He and striker Katlego Mphela cost a South African record fee of five million rand (about 500 000 euro) when they moved from champions SuperSport United to neighbours Sundowns two years ago.
Bongani Khumalo (SuperSport United). Defender. Born Jan. 6 1987. Caps: 11. Goals: 0.
Studious captain of South Africa's triple league champions whose club turned down a 700,000-euro offer from Greek champions Panathinaikos to keep him in South Africa. His mother died during last year's Confederation Cup but he insisted on going on with the tournament.
Tsepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa). Defender. Born May 5 1985. Caps: 29. Goals: 0.
First-choice left back who is one of the team's top performers, having won the Israeli league title with his club last season and competed in the UEFA Champions League against Juventus and Bayern Munich this past season. Made his national-team debut while still on the books of a second-division team.
Innocent Mdledle (Orlando Pirates). Defender. Born Nov. 12 1985. Caps: 11. Goals: 0.
Tough-tackling, often reckless defender, who provides cover in both fullback berths but is on the fringes of selection to the final 23-man squad. Injury and a change of clubs threatened his chances of inclusion but he has bounced back strongly in recent months.
Aaron Mokoena (Portsmouth, England). Defender. Born Nov. 25 1980. Caps: 97. Goals: 1.
South Africa's captain still holds the record as the country's youngest international after getting his first cap soon after his 18th birthday in February 1999. Ajax Amsterdam was his first European club and he has since played in Belgium and at Blackburn Rovers in the English Premier League. Nicknamed 'Mabazo', the Zulu word for axe.
Bryce Moon (PAOK Salonika, Greece). Defender. Born April 6 1986. Caps: 17. Goals: 1.
Plays either at right back or in right midfield, where he started his career before being converted into a defender. Left after completing school in South Africa to play at Coleraine in Northern Ireland before returning home to Ajax Cape Town. Two years ago he went to Panathinaikos in Greece but had little game time and was loaned this past season to PAOK, where he also appeared infrequently.
Anele Ngcongoa (Racing Genk, Belgium). Defender. Born Oct. 21 1987. Caps: 3. Goals: 0.
Unknown in his own country, having left as a teenager to play in Belgium without ever having played in South Africa's premier league. Made his debut last November in an international against Japan and did enough to convince coach Parreira that he might provide good cover at right back or for the central defenders, which is his preferred position.
Siyabonga Sangweni (Lamontville Golden Arrows). Defender. Born Sept. 29 1981. Caps: 8. Goals: 0.
Has emerged as potential starter alongside Mokoena at centre back because of injury to Morgan Gould and the surprise exclusion of Nasief Morris. Elder of two brothers who compete in South Africa's premier league, he has proved a steely defender whose height and pace make him a fearsome prospect.
Lucas Thwala (Orlando Pirates). Defender. Born Oct. 19 1981. Caps: 21. Goals: 1.
A popular player with the popular Pirates, for whom he was top goal scorer in the 2008/2009 season. Plays usually in centre of the defence but also at left back for the national side. Injury ruled him out of the Confederations Cup squad last year.
Franklin Cale (Mamelodi Sundowns). Midfielder. Born May 10 1983. Caps: 4. Goals: 0.
Left wing with plenty of pace and powerful running style who has been a late contender for a place in the squad. He made his first appearance as a substitute against Norway in Oslo in October. Moved from Ajax Cape Town to big-spending Sundowns in December in a surprise mid-season transfer.
Lance Davids (Ajax Cape Town). Midfielder. Born April 11 1985. Caps: 23. Goals: 0.
Strong tackler and good passer of the ball who was a teenage prodigy. He was whisked from Cape Town to 1860 Munich aged 16 and made his Bundesliga debut two years later in the derby against Bayern. His career has tailed off since with stints in Sweden and a return to South Africa at the start of 2009. He has ambitions of returning to Europe after the World Cup.
Kagisho Dikgacoi (Fulham, England). Midfielder. Born Nov. 24 1984. Caps: 33. Goals: 2.
Burly, one-time podgy, engine room of the South Africa who won the battle of the bulge that threatened a promising early career and has gone on to win a contract in the English Premier League. His ability to win tackles and move forward rapidly with the ball will be one of the features of South Africa's approach at the World Cup. Comes from the rural setting of Brandfort in the Free State province but now lives in London.
Andile Jali (Orlando Pirates). Midfielder. Born April 10 1990. Caps: 3. Goals: 0
Graduate from the under-20 side that represented South Africa at last year's World under-20 Championship in Egypt. Came to prominence as he helped second division Pretoria University to a surprise cup-final appearance last May with his midfield craft and was then snapped up by Pirates. Made his national team debut in January.
Thanduyise Khuboni (Lamontville Golden Arrows). Midfielder. Born May 23 1986. Caps: 6. Goals: 0.
Surprise selection by coach Parreira after the defensive midfielder's strong tackling and astute passing caught the Brazilian's eye. Khuboni has played in five successive internationals since his January debut for Bafana Bafana.
Reneilwe Letsholonyane (Kaizer Chiefs). Midfielder. Born June 9 1982. Caps: 10. Goals: 0.
Midfielder who likes to push forward into attack in a playmaking role but can also be utilised in a holding role in the middle of the field. Made his debut two years ago after Chiefs rescued him from relegated Jomo Cosmos and suddenly gave him a platform at the highest level of the domestic game.
Teko Modise (Orlando Pirates). Midfielder. Born Dec. 22 1982. Caps: 49. Goals: 9.
Popular pin-up boy of the team, whose image will look out across the country from hundreds of advertising billboards. A late bloomer, he has hardly missed an international since his debut three years ago. His game is full of guile and skill but he is often wasted in a wide role on the left side.
Surprise Moriri (Mamelodi Sundowns). Midfielder. Born March 20 1980. Caps: 31. Goals: 4.
Timed to perfection his return from nine months out following knee surgery and has worked his way back into the squad after missing last June's Confederation Cup.
His languid-looking style is deceptive for a player with bags of ability and a proven goal-scoring record but he is best played behind the strikers. He is a past winner of South Africa's footballer of the year award.
Steven Pienaar (Everton, England). Midfielder. Born March 17 1982. Caps: 47. Goals: 2.
Potential talisman of the team who goes to the World Cup on the back of an outstanding season for his English Premier League side. He is the most successful of South Africa's current foreign-based players and will likely run the midfield or play on the right side. Hails from a tough Johannesburg neighbourhood, has an outgoing personality and is popular among team mates for his sense of humour.
MacBeth Sibaya (Rubin Kazan, Russia). Midfielder. Born Nov. 25 1977. Caps: 56. Goals: 0.
A key ball-winner in midfield for the team but might not make the starting line-up if South Africa play with just one defensive midfielder. Has won two successive Russian championships with unfashionable Rubin Kazan, where he has been since 2003, but not played much since the start of the 2010 campaign, leaving questions about his fitness for the World Cup. Played at the 2002 tournament in South Korea.
Siphiwe Tshabalala (Kaizer Chiefs). Midfielder. Born Sept. 25 1984. Caps: 45. Goals: 6.
Speedy left wing who has bagged some outstanding goals for his country but is frustratingly inconsistent and moves in and out of the starting line-up. Has been a regular in the squad since being included as a surprise selection for the 2006 African Nations Cup finals in Egypt.
Benni McCarthy (West Ham United, England). Forward. Born Nov. 12 1977. Caps: 78. Goals: 31.
Scored against his idol Peter Schmeichel at the 1998 World Cup in France and has gone on to become the record scorer for South Africa's national team. He has had a tempestuous relationship with Bafana Bafana, quitting several times to advance his own agenda and being left out for the Confederations Cup last year. Even without much game time this season, he will be the player on whom South African hopes will be firmly pinned.
Katlego Mphela (Mamelodi Sundowns). Forward. Born Nov. 29 1984. Caps: 28. Goals: 11.
Speedy striker whose pace gives him plenty of chances but whose conversion rate is not strong. He was, nevertheless, the leading scorer in the South African season with 17 goals and scored twice against Spain in dramatic style in last year's Confederations Cup. As a teenager he left without playing any senior soccer in South Africa to join French club Racing Strasbourg but returned home in 2005 after having failed to make the grade.
Siyabonga Nomvethe (Moroka Swallows). Forward. Born Dec. 2 1977. Caps: 75. Goals: 16.
Fast striker in the twilight of his career whose inclusion in the squad comes after good league form in the last months of the South African season and the desperate search by Bafana Bafana for a goal scorer. Nomvete's chances of making the 23-man squad were enhanced with goal against Jamaica in a recent friendly in Germany. He played in Italy's Serie A and at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea.
Bernard Parker (FC Twente, Netherlands). Forward. Born March 16 1986. Caps: 26. Goals: 8.
Fast, but something of a lightweight, and is likely to partner McCarthy in attack. Part of the Twente side that has won a rare Dutch title under former England manager Steve McClaren but he spent most of the season being used as a substitute.
(Compiled by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Clare Fallon; To query or comment on this story email email@example.com)comments