[WORLD CUP COUNTDOWN] Harry Kewell, one of 14 holdovers from the 2006 World Cup, was included in Australia’s
preliminary World Cup roster despite a persistent groin injury that has led to speculation that he won't be fit for the finals.
“There are rumors, there are opinions, but Harry will be ready,” the Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek said. “The medical staff and Harry himself convinced me that Harry will be OK. We still have five weeks to prepare for the first game against Germany, so don’t worry, Harry will be there.”
The Socceroos will face the USA June 5 in a warmup in Roodepoort, South Africa, setting up a potential battle between Fulham teammates Mark Schwarzer and Clint Dempsey and Everton teammates Tim Cahill and Tim Howard.
Australia opens at the World Cup June 13 against Germany.
Goalkeepers: Adam Federici (Reading, England), Brad Jones (Middlesbrough, England), Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United), Mark Schwarzer (Fulham, England).
Defenders: Michael Beauchamp (Al-Jazira, UAE), David Carney (FC Twente, Netherlands), Scott Chipperfield (Basel, Switzerland), Shane Lowry (Aston Villa, England), Mark Milligan (JEF United, Japan), Craig Moore (no club), Lucas Neill (Galatasaray, Turkey), Jade North (Tromso, Norway), Luke Wilkshire (Dinamo Moscow, Russia), Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough, England).
Midfielders: Mark Bresciano (Palermo, Italy), Tim Cahill (Everton, England), Nicky Carle (Crystal Palace, England), Jason Culina (Gold Coast), Brett Emerton (Blackburn Rovers, England), Richard Garcia (Hull, England), Vince Grella (Blackburn Rovers, England), James Holland (AZ, Netherlands), Brett Holman (AZ, Netherlands), Mile Jedinak (Antalyaspor Kulubu, Turkey), Tommy Oar (FC Utrecht, Netherlands), Carl Valeri (Sassuolo, Italy).
Forwards: Josh Kennedy (Nagoya Grampus, Japan), Harry Kewell (Galatasaray, Turkey), Scott McDonald (Middlesbrough, England), Nikita Rukavytsya (FC Twente, Netherlands), Dario Vidosic (Nuremberg, Germany).