Socceroos coach Holger Osieck has picked Harry Kewell and Josh Kennedy, as well as six A-League based players including bolter Michael Thwaite, in his 19-man squad to face Paraguay early next month.
Having already been in charge of the national team for recent friendlies against Switzerland and Poland, holding the Swiss to a scoreless draw and beating Poland 2-1, Osieck had no hesitation picking both Kewell and Kennedy neither of who had played at international level since the World Cup because of injury.
Osieck has also included A-League stars Jason Culina, Alex Brosque, Eugene Galekovic, Matt McKay, Jade North and Thwaite and while Culina has been a mainstay of the team for several years Thwaite hasn’t played in nearly five years and McKay also boasts only four caps.
Among those not chosen in the squad are Brett Holman, who has silenced some of his critics with several goals for Australia in recent months, Vince Grella and Marco Bresciano, as well as rising stars Tommy Oar and Nathan Burns and Heart defender Michael Beauchamp.
Veterans Lucas Neill and Mark Schwarzer will play along with Tim Cahill while Scott McDonald will get another chance to break his international duck having now played 18 matches at the top level without troubling the scorers.
The clash at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday, October 9 will be the fifth between the nations and second at the venue, with Australia having won once and the other three games drawn, including the scoreless encounter at the SFS a decade ago.
The Socceroos had been set to win the most recent clash at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane four years ago thanks to a late goal to Tony Popovic but a Beauchamp own goal deep into stoppage time left the score locked at 1-1.
Alex Brosque (Sydney FC) , Tim Cahill (Everton), David Carney (Blackpool), Jason Culina (Gold Coast United), Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United), Richard Garcia (Hull City), Mile Jedinak (Genclerbirligi), Josh Kennedy (Nagoya Grampus), Harry Kewell (Galatasaray), Scott McDonald (Middlesbrough), Jon McKain (Al Nassr), Matthew McKay (Brisbane Roar), Lucas Neill (Galatasaray), Jade North (Wellington Phoenix), Mark Schwarzer (Fulham), Michael Thwaite (Gold Coast United), Carl Valeri (U.S. Sassuolo Calcio), Dario Vidosic (FC Nurnberg), Luke Wilkshire (Dinamo Moscow)