[WORLD CUP 2014 COUNTDOWN] Germany, which will face the USA in Group G at the World Cup, got some good news as Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger has returned to the national team for its friendly against Chile on Wednesday at Berlin's Olympic Stadium. Four players earned their first call-ups from Coach Joachim Loew, though all are considered longshots to make Germany's World Cup team.
Schweinsteiger had two ankle surgeries in 2013 and his return is critical as Real Madrid's Sami Khedira and Borussia Dortmund's Ilkay Gundogan, Germany's other top defensive midfielders, are injured. Bayern Munich star Philipp Lahm has played most of his career at outside back but has excelled this season at defensive midfielder for Bayern under new coach Pep Guardiola and says he's willing to play there for Germany.
Also missing will be Schalke 04's Julian Draxler and Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus, who are just returning from injuries, and Bayern's Thomas Mueller, who is sidelined with a thigh injury.
Four players earned their first call-ups: defenders Matthias Ginter(Freiburg), and Shkodran Mustafi (Sampdoria), midfielder Andre Hahn(Augsburg) and forward Pierre-Michel Lasogga (Hamburg).
GOALKEEPERS:Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Roman Weidenfeller (Bor. Dortmund).
DEFENDERS:Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Matthias Ginter (Freiburg), Kevin Grosskreutz (Bor. Dortmund), Marcell Jansen (Hamburg), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Shkodran Mustafi (Sampdoria/ITA), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal/ENG), Marcel Schmelzer (Bor. Dortmund).
MIDFIELDERS:Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Andre Hahn (Augsburg), Mario Goetze (Bayern Munich), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal/ENG), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal/ENG), Andre Schuerrle (Chelsea/ENG), Sidney Sam (Bayer Leverkusen).
FORWARDS:Pierre-Michel Lasogga (Hamburg), Miroslav Klose (Lazio/ITA).