SYDNEY, May 22 (Reuters) - Australia have named a severely depleted squad for the friendly international against Uruguay on June 2, with injury and unavailability preventing coach Graham Arnold from selecting a full-strength line-up.
Forwards Mark Viduka and Harry Kewell, midfielders Vince Grella and Tim Cahill, and goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer were among many high-profile players missing from the 23-man squad Arnold announced today.
Young Middlesbrough goalkeeper Brad Jones is expected to take Schwarzer's place against Uruguay, a repeat of the 2005 World Cup playoff which sent the Socceroos through to last year's tournament in Germany.
Melbourne Victory striker Daniel Allsopp and young central defender Matthew Spiranovic, who plays for German club Nuremberg, were among new faces called up for the game in Sydney.
''It's great that we will have some experienced players like Lucas Neill, Brett Emerton, Jason Culina, Archie Thompson, Luke Wilkshire, Michael Beauchamp and Mile Sterjovski to complement some exciting young players, who will get to test themselves against some of the best players in the world,'' Arnold said in a Football Federation Australia statement.
''Our Asian Cup campaign starts here. We have a two-month programme that starts now and we hope will result in success at our first Asian Cup.
''There is a significant amount at stake for the players who will be pushing for selection for the Asian Cup squad as this match against Uruguay will be the final game before the team is finalised.'' Arnold will have only one more friendly, against Singapore on June 30, before the Asian Cup starts in July.
Australia squad: Daniel Allsopp, Michael Beauchamp, Mark Bridge, Nick Carle, David Carney, Simon Colosimo, Jason Culina, Brett Emerton, Adam Federici, Ryan Griffiths, Brett Holman, Brad Jones, Patrick Kisnorbo, Scott McDonald, Lucas Neill, Jade North, Mile Sterjovski, Matthew Spiranovic, Shane Stefanutto, Michael Thwaite, Archie Thompson, Carl Valeri, Luke Wilkshire.
REUTERS SSC VV1048