Subotic survives Serbia's initial cuts

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Defender Neven Subotic, who grew up in Salt Lake City, has survived Serbia's initial World Cup roster cuts and appears to have won a place on the final roster.

Subotic was among 24 players on coach Radomir Antic's roster Friday after six players were trimmed from the preliminary group announced last week. Just one more player must be cut to get down to the 23-man limit and Subotic seems likely to make it because four goalkeepers remain and one of those will be cut.

The 21-year-old, who plays for Borussia Dortmund, made one start and three substitute appearances for the U.S. at the 2005 FIFA Under-17 World Championship, where he played alongside forward Jozy Altidore.

He left the American national team program after he was passed over by coach Thomas Rongen for the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup. He made his debut for Serbia in March 2009.

Subotic was born in Serbia and spent several years living in Germany when he was young. His family moved to Utah when he was about 10.

Antic's roster includes only three domestic-based players. Among those on the roster are defenders Nemanja Vidic of Manchester United and Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea, and midfielders Dejan Stankovic of Inter Milan and Milos Krasic of CSKA Moscow.

The only listed player who has still not concluded his club season is Stankovic, the Serbian captain. He remained with Inter, which plays Bayern Munich in the Champions League final on Saturday in Madrid.

"I wish him luck in the final," Antic said. "We have agreed that he'll get a day or two of additional rest."

The final 23-man roster is due to FIFA by June 1. Serbia will play Ghana, Germany and Australia in Group D.

Antic said that even without the injured captain Michael Ballack, Germany will still be Serbia's toughest opponent in the group. The Chelsea midfielder will miss the World Cup because of an ankle injury.

"It's really a shock when you remain without a captain at the last moment, but Germany has 6 million players," Antic said.

"They'll miss Ballack more as a leader than as a player. But I'm sure coach (Joachim) Loew will find an adequate replacement."

Serbia plays New Zealand on May 29 and Poland on June 2 during preparations in Austria, and Cameroon on June 5 in Belgrade in its final warmup game.

The roster:

Goalkeepers: Zeljko Brkic (Vojvodina Novi Sad), Andjelko Djuricic (Leiria, Portugal), Bojan Isailovic (Zaglebie Lubin), Vladimir Stojkovic (Wigan, England)

Defenders: Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea, England), Aleksandar Kolarov (Lazio, Italy), Aleksandar Lukovic (Udinese, Italy), Ivan Obradovic (Zaragoza, Spain), Antonio Rukavina (1860 Munich, Germany), Neven Subotic (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United, England)

Midfielders: Milan Jovanovic (Standard Liege, Belgium), Gojko Kacar (Hertha Berlin, Germany), Milos Krasic (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Zdravko Kuzmanovic (Stuttgart, Germany), Nenad Milijas (Wolverhampton, England), Milos Ninkovic (Dynamo Kiev, Ukraine), Radosav Petrovic (Partizan Belgrade), Dejan Stankovic (Inter Milan, Itaky), Zoran Tosic (Cologne, Germany)

Forwards: Danko Lazovic (Zenit St. Petersburg, Russia), Dragan Mrdja (Vojvodina Novi Sad), Marko Pantelic (Ajax, Netherlands), Nikola Zigic (Valencia, Spain)