Van Gaal drops Van der Vaart from Dutch squad

Coach Louis van Gaal on Friday dropped veteran midfielder Rafael

van der Vaart from the Netherlands squad to play Turkey and Hungary

in its opening World Cup qualifiers.

Van Gaal also left out midfielders Ibrahim Afellay and Nigel de

Jong for both matches.

The announcement came on the day Barcelona said it is loaning

Afellay to Schalke and Van der Vaart, who has 100 internationals to

his name, was reportedly poised to move from Tottenham to his

former club Hamburg. De Jong was in Italy for a medical ahead of a

move from Manchester City to AC Milan.

”They have not played enough and their attention is on new

clubs,” Van Gaal told reporters. ”I need players who can focus

totally on Turkey and Hungary – those are very tough matches.”

Van Gaal called up uncapped Jordy Clasie frm Feyenoord and Leroy

Fer of Twente, whose only international was two years ago, to

bolster his midfield. Clasie’s teammate, defender Daryl Janmaat,

was the other uncapped player included by Van Gaal.

Strikers Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Robin van Persie are both in

the 23-man squad for the Group D matches against Turkey on Sept. 7

in Amsterdam and Hungary on Sept. 11 in Budapest.

World Cup runner-up Netherlands is looking to bounce back from a

disastrous European Championship in which it lost all three group


Former Ajax and Barcelona coach Van Gaal took over from Bert van

Marwijk in the aftermatch of Euro 2012 and is seeking to rebuild

the team while also qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

His first match in charge was a 4-2 defeat to Belgium in a



Goalkeepers: Maarten Stekelenburg (AS Roma), Michel Vorm

(Swansea City), Tim Krul (Newcastle United)

Defenders: John Heitinga (Everton), Daryl Janmaat (Feyenoord),

Bruno Martins Indi (Feyenoord), Joris Mathijsen (Feyenoord),

Ricardo van Rhijn (Ajax), Nick Viergever (AZ Alkmaar), Ron Vlaar

(Aston Villa), Jetro Willems (PSV Eindhoven).

Midfielders: Jordy Clasie (Feyenoord), Urby Emanuelson (AC

Milan), Leroy Fer (FC Twente), Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan), Kevin

Strootman (PSV).

Forwards: Bas Dost (Wolfsburg), Klaas Jan Huntelaar (Schalke),

Dirk Kuijt (Fenerbahce), Jeremain Lens (PSV), Luciano Narsingh

(PSV), Robin van Persie (Manchester United), Arjen Robben (Bayern