The Socceroos are going to be playing their final lot of second round qualification in the AFC. This is important for our World Cup hopes. If we beat Bangladesh and don’t lose to Jordan, we will make it to the third round. If we beat Bangladesh but do lose to Jordan, we probably will make it through.
Our squad is interesting, to say the least. We’ve got a few of the expected big names (Jedinak, Mooy, Cahill, Milligan), but a few less well-known ones (Burns, Federici, Ikonomidis, McGowan) and three uncapped players (Geria, Gersbach, and Giannou). We have 23 players in the squad, so there’ll be stuff on 11 players here, and 12 more in a post that will be uploaded before the week is out.
- Terry Antonis (Midfielder, 22, 3 caps, plays for PAOK (Greece)): Antonis has talent, no doubt, having won a ball juggling competition at age 10. Formerly of Sydney FC, he is yet to prove himself internationally.
- Nathan Burns (Winger, 27, 18 caps (1 goal), plays for F.C. Tokyo (Japan)): Broke into the side during the Asian Cup last year. He has goalscoring power, being the fastest to score 10 goals in an A-League season and has multiple hat tricks to his name.
- Tim Cahill (Attacking midfielder, 36, 88 caps (46 goals), plays for Hangzhou Greentown (China)): There’s nothing to be said about Tim Cahill that hasn’t already been said. The greatest Australian footballer of all time.
- Adam Federici (Goalkeeper, 31, 18 caps, plays for Bournemouth (England)): Federici has spent most of his career as a second-choice keeper, but will probably get some starts.
- Jason Geria (Defender, 22, 0 caps, plays for Melbourne Victory): Geria’s getting his start after impressing for Melbourne Victory in the A-League. Will provide some help in defence.
- Alex Gersbach (Defender, 18, 0 caps, plays for Rosenborg BK (Norway)): Evidently investing in youth here, Gersbach played regularly for Sydney FC in 2014, including the FFA Cup. May help raise his profile.
- Apostolos Giannou (Striker, 26, 1 cap for Greece, plays for Guangzhou R&F (China)): Giannou has switched allegiances from Greece to Australia, and as the only game he played in was a friendly, he is still allowed to change sides. A bold coup by Postecoglou.
- Chris Ikonomidis (Attacking midfielder, 20, 3 caps, plays for Lazio (Italy, currently on loan to Salernitana)): Another Greek-Australian, Ikonomidis made his debut for the Aussies during the friendlies against Germany and Macedonia last year. A fringe player.
- Mile Jedinak (Midfielder, 31, 61 caps (11 goals), plays for Crystal Palace (England)): The captain of the Australian team is starting to become a regular goalscorer. One of the top players in the country.
- Robbie Kruse (Forward, 27, 38 caps (4 goals), plays for Bayer Leverkusen (Germany)): One of the most experienced players in the squad, and a member of the Asian Cup winning team, Kruse is a good partner for Cahill.
- Mitch Langerak (Goalkeeper, 27, 6 caps, players for VfB Stuttgart (Germany)): Langerak made his first start in the 6-0 loss to France in 2013. He got some more in the period after Schwarzer’s retirement, but is the second, or even third, choice here.
The remaining twelve players in the squad will be discussed on Friday.