Man Preliminary Socceroos World Cup Squad Announced

08 May, 2018, 00:45 | Author: Felix Jensen
  • Daniel Arzani has been named in the Socceroos squad            
    
              
     
     
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And the Dutchman offered a strong hint Cahill could well be on the way to Russian Federation next month for a fourth consecutive World Cup, labelling the 38-year-old striker "a special case" after naming the country's all-time leading scorer in his extended 32-man squad.

TIM Cahill and James Meredith have been named in Australia's preliminary 32-man squad ahead of this summer's World Cup in Russian Federation. Tim Cahill's early exit from Melbourne City has paid off as he'll be included for his fourth World Cup.

Cahill was among 32 players picked in an expanded training squad, announced by coach Bert van Marwijk on Monday, but the veteran forward faces an anxious wait before knowing whether he will make the final cut for Russian Federation.

Van Marwijk will trim his squad down to 26 next week before the Socceroos head overseas to Turkey for a 20 day camp.

The 38-year-old Cahill is Australia's all-time leading scorer with 50 goals from 105 global appearances, but he has struggled for form and match time in recent months.

His addition to the squad leaves homegrown defenders, such as Josh Risdon and Bailey Wright, scrambling for a place when the squad is culled to 26 players next week.

An appeals system would also reduce the number of lengthy interruptions to the game caused by the referee feeling he has to check every single episode, van Marwijk added.

Karacic has an Australian passport through his father who was born here, while his grandfather spent most of his adult life Down Under.

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"He's a very good striker (but) he doesn't play and I have to take a decision on whether to take him to the world championships. He's not 19 like Arzani - he's two times that age - but he's also a player who can make a difference".

Arzani, who is regarded as one of Australia's brightest young prospects after helping Melbourne City win this season's A-League title, also made the provisional squad.

After the 0-0 draw with Colombia on 27 March, Van Marwijk and his squad travelled extensively - across Asia and Europe - to check on players.

Croatian-born 21-year-old right-back Fran Karacic is the shock selection while established core Mile Jedinak, Aaron Mooy, Mat Ryan, Mathew Leckie, Robbie Kruse, Massimo Luongo and Tomi Juric have all been retained.

"Everybody knows that the right defending position, I don't have a lot of choice for that position", van Marwijk said.

At the other end of the age spectrum is 19-year-old bolter Arzani, named the Australian professional league's Young Player of the Year in 2018, who is untried at global level.

Striker Jamie Maclaren was also recalled after some strong performances for Hibernian in the Scottish Premiership.

Australia will play two friendlies against Hungary and the Czech Republic next month before taking on France in the first game of the World Cup on June 16.

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