Greece coach keeps veterans for Canada friendly

BY foxsports • February 4, 2011

Greece coach Fernando Santos has kept veterans Giorgos Karagounis and Nikos Lymberopoulos, announcing his squad Friday for a friendly against Canada next week.

Santos named his 22-man squad for the Feb. 9 game, saying he wants to keep experienced players on hand to guide the team through a transition to younger players.

''Karagounis may not have been getting as many continuous club games lately as we'd like to see,'' Santos said of the Panathinaikos midfielder, who has made 102 apperances for the national team. ''But this is a club in transition and I think his presence in the dressing room is very important.''

Thirty-five year-old striker Lymberopoulos has been on form since his return to Greece to join AEK this season from Eintracht Frankfurt, with six league goals.

Santos stuck with 22-year-old forward Costas Mitroglou, who last month moved from league leaders Olympiakos to Panionios, which is struggling in 13th place in the 16-team league.

Mitroglou's new teammate, midfielder Dimitris Siovas, was also selected.

Greece is second in its qualifying group for the 2012 European Championship with eight points from four games, two behind leader Croatia. The Greeks travel to Malta for their next qualifier on March 26.

Canada is preparing for the June 5-25 CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States.



Goalkeepers: Michalis Sifakis (Aris), Costas Halkias (PAOK)

Defenders: Loukas Vyntra (Panathinaikos), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (AC Milan), Avraam Papadopoulos (Olympiakos), Nikos Spyropoulos (Panathinaikos), Vassilis Torosidis (Olympiakos), Giorgos Tzavelas (Eintracht Frankfurt), Vangelis Moras (Bologna)

Midfielders: Dimitris Siovas (Panionios), Costas Katsouranis (Panathinaikos), Giorgos Karagounis (Panathinaikos), Pantelis Kafes (AEK Athens), Sotiris Ninis (Panathinaikos), Panagiotis Kone (Brescia), Yiannis Fetfatzidis (Olympiakos), Grigoris Makos (AEK Athens)

Strikers: Giorgos Georgiadis (Panserraikos), Dimitris Salpigidis (PAOK), Costas Mitroglou (Panionios), Nikos Lymberopoulos (AEK Athens), Georgios Samaras (Celtic)

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