SYDNEY (AP) – Chelsea goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer has been dropped from the Australian team that will play friendlies against France and Canada next month, calling into question his chances of playing at a third World Cup.
Coach Holger Osieck on Tuesday omitted the 40-year-old Schwarzer, who is Australia's most-capped player with 108 appearances, from his 24-man squad to play France in Paris on Oct. 11 and Canada in London on Oct. 15.
The Australian media said Schwarzer's omission was likely due to his move from Fulham to Chelsea, which has meant little playing time behind No. 1 keeper Petr Cech. Schwarzer looked rusty in Australia's 6-0 loss to Brazil earlier this month.
''I know what he can do. He's our number one goalkeeper,'' Osieck said. ''But if I keep playing him, what about the others we may need?''
Dortmund's Mitchell Langerak and Belgium-based Mat Ryan were named instead as goalkeepers.
''Mitch Langerak deserves a minimum of one game because he's a very good servant to our team,'' Osieck said.
Japan-based Lucas Neill has also been named to the team and, if he's appointed captain for both matches, he will equal Peter Wilson's record of 60 matches as Australian skipper.
Oliver Bozanic, David Carney and Jason Davidson have been recalled after extended absences from the national team, while Tim Cahill and Luke Wilkshie are both set to return after missing the Brazil match due to injury.
Australia squad: Oliver Bozanic, Mark Bresciano, Tim Cahill, David Carney, Jason Davidson, James Holland, Brett Holman, Jackson Irvine, Mile Jedinak, Josh Kennedy, Robbie Kruse, Mitchell Langerak, Matthew Leckie, Matthew McKay, Mark Milligan, Lucas Neill, Tommy Oar, Sasa Ognenovski, Tommy Rogic, Nikita Rukavytsya, Mat Ryan, Dario Vidosic, Luke Wilkshire, Rhys Williams.