Algeria coach picks Mansouri as WCup captain

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Lorient midfielder Yazid Mansouri has been selected as Algeria's World Cup captain.

Coach Rabah Saadane selected a 25-man preliminary roster Tuesday and must cut down to 23 by June 1.

Algeria opens against Slovenia on June 12, then plays England six days later and closes the first round against the United States on June 23. It has warmup matches at Ireland (May 28) and against the United Arab Emirates in Nuremberg, Germany (June 5).

Several Algerians selected are teammates of players in the U.S. national team player pool: defender Madjid Bougherra (midfielders Maurice Edu and DaMarcus Beasley on Glasgow Rangers); midfielder Riad Boudebouz (forward Charlie Davies on Sochaux); and midfielder Karim Matmour (midfielder Michael Bradley on Borussia Moenchengladbach).

Just four players are based in Algeria: three goalkeepers and defender Abdelkader Laifaoui. Seven players are with French clubs.

Defender Nadir Belhadj has not played since March 20 because of a hamstring injury, and Bougherra has been sidelined since April 18 due to a strained calf.

The squad:

Goalkeepers: Fawzi Chaouchi (ES Setif), Lounes Gaouaoui (ASO Chlef), M'bohi Rais Ouhed (Slava Sofia, Bulgaria), Mohamed Liamine Zemamouche (MC Alger)

Defenders: Habib Belaid (Boulogne, France), Nadir Belhadj (Portsmouth, England), Madjid Bougherra (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), Rafik Halliche (Nacional Madeira, Portugal), Abdelkader Laifaoui (ES Setif), Carl Medjani (AC Ajaccio, France), Djamel Mesbah (Lecce, Italy) Anther Yahia (Bochum, Germany)

Midfielders: Djamel Abdoun (Nantes, France), Riad Boudebouz (Sochaux, France), Adlane Guedioura (Wolverhampton, England), Fouad Kadir (Valenciennes, France), Medhi Lacen (Racing Santander, Spain), Yazid Mansouri (Lorient, France), Karim Matmour (Moenchengladbach, Germany), Mourad Meghni (Lazio, Italy), Hassen Yebda (Portsmouth, England), Karim Ziani (Wolfsburg, Germany)

Forwards: Rafik Djebbour (AEK Athens, Greece), Abdelkader Ghezzal (Siena, Italy), Rafik Saifi (Istres, France)