Germany coach Joachim Low has named four new players in his squad for the post-season trip to the United States but left out the majority from UEFA Champions League finalists Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
Bayer Leverkusen duo Sidney Sam and Philipp Wollscheid, Mainz midfielder Nicolai Muller and Freiburg's Max Kruse have all earned their first call-ups. Dennis Aogo, Andreas Beck, Stefan Reinartz and Aaron Hunt have been handed recalls to a 23-man squad which includes more seasoned international players such as Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski.
Germany will fly to the USA on 22 May and play friendlies against Ecuador and the USA during a two-week stay. The trip gives Low the chance to take a look at a wider selection of candidates for their remaining FIFA World Cup™ qualifying matches between July and September.
"International matches are always prestigious events," he said. "For the players we have nominated it is something special to be involved. I am convinced that we will send out strong teams against Ecuador and the USA. Games like this always give individual players a chance to present themselves. Players who have not yet had the chance to play a defining role in the national team can prove themselves and take on responsibility."
They have warranted these call-ups. I am really pleased that they now have the chance to experience being in the national team.
Low added: "They have warranted these call-ups. I am really pleased that they now have the chance to experience being in the national team. I am looking forward to seeing whether they take this chance."
Bayern's contingent have been left out as they will not only be involved in the UEFA Champions League final on 25 May, but also the DFB-Pokal final against Stuttgart on 1 June. Dortmund duo Sven Bender and Kevin Grosskreutz, who could play against Bayern at Wembley, will link up with the national team following the Champions League final but the likes of Mats Hummels, Marco Rues, Marcel Schmelzer and Ilkay Gundogan have been left out.
Real Madrid duo Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil have also been omitted due to their club commitments, as has Miroslav Klose, whose Lazio side face Roma in the Coppa Italia final on 26 May. Despite the high-profile absences, Germany's general manager Oliver Bierhoff has defended the decision to stage the tour immediately after the conclusion of the Bundesliga season.
"We are standing resolutely by our plans, which we agreed upon early and intentionally," he said. "Our aim was to allow the players to have a long summer break after a demanding season and enable them then to prepare for the next season with their clubs."
Germany squad: Rene Adler (Hamburg), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Borussia Monchengladbach); Dennis Aogo, Marcell Jansen (both Hamburg), Andreas Beck (Hoffenheim), Benedikt Howedes (Schalke), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Philipp Wollscheid (Bayer Leverkusen); Sven Bender, Kevin Grosskreutz (both Borussia Dortmund), Lars Bender, Stefan Reinartz, Sidney Sam, Andre Schurrle (all Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler, Roman Neustadter (both Schalke), Aaron Hunt (Werder Bremen), Nicolai Muller (Mainz); Lukas Podolski (Arsenal), Max Kruse (Freiburg), Miroslav Klose (Lazio)