World Cup deadline day roster surprises

BY foxsports • June 1, 2010

England dropped Theo Walcott but kept injured Gareth Barry, while host South Africa left all-time top scorer Benni McCarthy out of its World Cup squad on deadline day Tuesday.

Although many of the 32 qualifiers have already named their final squads ahead of FIFA's deadline of 2200 GMT on Tuesday, defending champion Italy and three-time winner Germany were among those to leave it until late on the final day.

Four years after former coach Sven-Goran Eriksson took Walcott, age 17 at the time, to the World Cup in Germany but never used him, Fabio Capello decided not to take the Arsenal winger to South Africa.

Walcott has struggled with injury and form this season and, even with David Beckham out with a partially torn Achilles tendon, Capello preferred to summon Joe Cole and Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Barry has been sidelined since May 5 with ankle ligament damage and Capello gave him until a fitness check on Tuesday before deciding to take the Manchester City midfielder. Barry now has 10 more days to get fit for England's first group game, against the United States.

The other six players to miss out on England selection were Darren Bent, Tom Huddlestone, Adam Johnson, Scott Parker, Michael Dawson and Leighton Baines.

South Africa was widely expected not to include McCarthy.

The 32-year-old striker, who has scored 32 goals in 78 games for South Africa, has struggled with fitness and form all season while playing in England for Blackburn then West Ham.

"It was a sad thing to have to split apart our family," coach Carlos Alberto Parreira told a news conference as he announced the six players who will not play in the first World Cup to be staged in Africa.

"But I told them, 'Put your heads up, life goes on. All of you deserve to be here'. Unfortunately we have to obey FIFA rules and we can only name 23."

South Africa kicks off the competition against Mexico on June 11, and then faces former World Cup winners Uruguay and France in its group.

South Korea, Slovakia, Greece and Ivory Coast also named squads on Tuesday with no major surprises, although the Slovaks named two strikers who are recovering from injuries.

Filip Holosko broke his leg last year and was not able to train with the team until Monday while Robert Vittek has been sidelined with a knee injury. Neither player was able to play in Saturday's 1-1 warmup draw with Cameroon at Klagenfurt, Austria.

"It was a tough decision," coach Vladimir Weiss said. "Holosko isn't 100 percent fit. Or, he may be fit but we don't know what to expect in a real match. It's the same with Vittek. We'll see in the next few days."

Slovakia's first group game is against New Zealand on June 15 and it then meets Paraguay and Italy.

Defender Kwak Tae-hwi, who injured his knee in Sunday's 1-0 warmup loss to Belarus, is out of the South Korea squad and was replaced by Kang Min-soo.

Coach Huh Jung-moo cut three more players from his provisional squad, leaving midfielders Ku Ja-cheol and Shin Hyung-min and Japan-based striker Lee Keun-ho behind.

"Lee Keun-ho hasn't been able to get over his poor run of form," Huh said. "Shin Hyung-min didn't look sharp against Belarus, and it's unfortunate but Ku Ja-cheol wasn't selected."

The 2002 World Cup semifinalist faces European champion Spain in a warmup match on Thursday in Innsbruck before leaving for South Africa for Group B games with Greece on June 12, Argentina five days later and Nigeria on June 22.

Ivory Coast coach Eriksson trimmed five players from his provisional squad but still included six strikers.

Chelsea duo Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou are likely to lead the attack but the Ivorians are in a tough group, alongside five-time champion Brazil, Portugal and North Korea. They open against Portugal on June 15.

Greece coach Otto Rehhagel, who led the team to a surprise Euro 2004 triumph and had already trimmed his squad to 25, left out midfielder Grigoris Makos and defender Giorgos Tzavelas.

Italy coach Marcello Lippi, who guided the team to its fourth World Cup triumph in Berlin four years ago, has to cut five players from its squad, with forwards Marco Borriello, Fabio Quagliarella and Giuseppe Rossi most at risk.

Germany coach Joachim Loew hopes to take as many as six strikers, although he may have to change his plans because of injuries to midfielders.

Striker Miroslav Klose was top scorer at the last World Cup but he has not been a regular starter with Bundesliga champion Bayern Munich and could miss out.


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