2 newcomers in Germany squad for World Cup

Published May 06, 2010

| Associated Press

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Germany coach Joachim Loew picked a 27-member provisional World Cup roster Thursday, including seven players from Bayern Munich.

Two new players were selected: Bayern central defender Holger Badstuber and Hamburg defender Dennis Aogo. Veteran Bayern goalkeeper Joerg Butt also was picked.

The squad will be trimmed to 23 players shortly before the three-time champions travel to the World Cup.

"They are brimming with confidence," Loew said of the Bayern players.

Bayern has a three-point lead in the Bundesliga with one game left and has a big advantage in goal difference over second-place Schalke. Bayern also is in the German Cup final against Werder Bremen on May 15 and meets Inter Milan in the Champions League final on May 22.

"We are proud of Bayern's achievements," Loew said. "They've shown great performances."

Loew's squad includes several young players, among them Badstuber, Bayern forward Thomas Mueller, Toni Kroos (on loan from Bayern to Bayer Leverkusen) and Werder Bremen's Marko Marin.

"We specifically picked younger players. They may be short on experience but they have a lot of qualities," Loew said at a news conference in Stuttgart.

Six players are 20 or 21. Badstuber is 21 and Mueller is 20, and both are coming off debut seasons in the Bundesliga.

"He is clear headed and makes few mistakes," Loew said of Badstuber. "Mueller has an incredible instinct to be in the right place and the right time to score, and he can play in several positions."

Mueller has played every game for Bayern so far this season (49), scoring 19 goals. He could push out some established strikers.

Loew stuck with experienced forwards Miroslav Klose of Bayern, who has just three goals this season, and Lukas Podolski of Cologne, who has two.

Also included were Mario Gomez, who mostly sits on Bayern's bench, and Stuttgart's Brazil-born Cacau. One of the six forwards is likely to be dropped.

While the choice of Butt was expected after the injury of No. 1 goalkeeper Rene Adler, the selection of Aogo was a surprise. It remains to be seen whether Aogo makes the final cut.

"He is technically very good and can go forward well," Loew said of the 23-year-old defender.

Butt also was on the roster for the 2000 European Championship and the 2002 World Cup. He has three games for Germany, which is more than either Manuel Neuer of Schalke and Tim Wiese of Werder Bremen. Both have two appearances each for Germany and none was a full game.

"Butt has tournament experience, he has had an outstanding season and he provide support to younger players," Loew said.

Loew would not identify a starting goalkeeper, and the 35-year-old Butt is thought to have a chance. Robert Enke, who would have been the No. 1 goalkeeper, committed suicide in November.

Adler pulled out earlier this week because of a rib injury that needs surgery. Leverkusen midfielder Simon Rolfes dropped out with a knee injury and Lazio midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger, who has hardly played this season, has been dropped.

"I am sure that it's never been so difficult and complicated to pick a squad and prepare for a major tournament," Loew said.

With Bayern still chasing titles and captain Michael Ballack's Chelsea in the FA Cup final, Loew won't have many of his top players until late in the month.

Germany plays exhibitions against Malta on May 13, at Hungary on May 29 and against Bosnia-Herzegovina in Frankfurt on June 3. It is in a first-round group with Australia, Serbia and Ghana, a team that advances could meet the United States in the second round.

The roster:

Goalkeepers: Joerg Butt (Bayern Munich), Manuel Neuer (Schalke), Tim Wiese (Werder Bremen)

Defenders: Dennis Aogo (Hamburg), Holger Badstuber (Bayern Munich), Andreas Beck (Hoffenheim), Jerome Boateng (Hamburg), Arne Friedrich (Hertha Berlin), Marcell Jansen (Hamburg), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Werder Bremen), Serdar Tasci (Stuttgart), Heiko Westermann (Schalke)

Midfielders: Michael Ballack (Chelsea, England), Sami Khedira (Stuttgart), Toni Kroos (Bayer Leverkusen), Marko Marin (Werder Bremen), Mesut Oezil (Werder Bremen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Christian Traesch (Stuttgart), Piotr Trochowski (Hamburg)

Forwards: Cacau (Stuttgart), Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich), Stefan Kiessling (Bayer Leverkusen), Miroslav Klose (Bayern Munich), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Lukas Podolski (Cologne)

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