South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has made few surprise choices in his preliminary squad for the FIFA World Cup™, opting to select most of the players he has tried and tested since taking charge of the team in October last year.
Benni McCarthy is named despite his recent injury troubles. The West Ham United striker is one of four players from the Barclays Premier League named - the others being captain Aaron Mokoena of Portsmouth, Kagisho Dikgacoi of Fulham and Everton's Steven Pienaar. However, there was no place for Racing Santander defender Nasief Morris.
In total, the 29-man list is made up of 10 European-based players, with the rest of the group playing in South Africa's Premier Soccer League. "The bulk of the 23 players for the World Cup will come from these 29 players, but maybe we get injuries or loss of form, which is why I have left the door open," Parreira said.
"Trimming down the squad is not the ideal situation but it's something that has to be done. We can't take any number we want and we have to make decisions which are always difficult. It doesn't mean the players that will be left out are not good enough, but me and my technical team took a long time discussing this list carefully."
The hosts are in Group A for the June 11 June-11 July competition, alongside Mexico, France and Uruguay. The final 23-man squad must be announced by the 1 June deadline.
South Africa preliminary squad: Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates), Shu-Aib Walters (Maritzburg United), Rowen Fernandez (Arminia Bielefeld); Matthew Booth (Mamelodi Sundowns), Siboniso Gaxa (Mamelodi Sundowns), Innocent Mdledle (Mamelodi Sundowns), Bongani Khumalo (SuperSport United), Tsepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa), Aaron Mokoena (Portsmouth), Bryce Moon (PAOK), Anele Ngcongca (Racing Genk), Siyabonga Sangweni (Golden Arrows), Lucas Thwala (Orlando Pirates); Surprise Moriri (Mamelodi Sundowns), Franklin Cale (Mamelodi Sundowns), Lance Davids (Ajax Cape Town), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Fulham), Andile Jali (Orlando Pirates), Teko Modise (Orlando Pirates), Reneilwe Letsholonyane (Kaizer Chiefs), Siphiwe Tshabalala (Kaizer Chiefs), Thanduyise Khuboni (Golden Arrows), Steven Pienaar (Everton), MacBeth Sibaya (Rubin Kazan); Benni McCarthy (West Ham), Katlego Mphela (Mamelodi Sundowns), Siyabonga Nomvethe (Moroka Swallows), Bernard Parker (FC Twente)
* Please note that squad lists only become official after they have been submitted to and announced by FIFA.