Rukavytsya back in Socceroo squad
The group includes 15 players who were part of the Socceroos' squad that finished runners-up at this year's AFC Asian Cup in Qatar. Striker Nikita Rukavytsya returns to the squad for the first time since last August's friendly against Slovenia while goalkeeper Mitch Langerak receives his first call-up following some impressive performances for Borussia Dortmund.
Striker Scott McDonald and young midfielder Tommy Oar are the most notable absentees, while goalkeeper Adam Federici has lost his place as back-up keeper to Langerak. Veterans Vince Grella and Mark Bresciano are also missing. Brisbane Roar captain Matt McKay and Melbourne Victory striker Robbie Kruse are the only two A-League players in the squad for the 29 March encounter.
Osieck says Langerak's brilliant recent Bundesliga debut convinced him the young goalkeeper was ready for international football. The 22-year-old, the second-choice keeper at league-leaders Dortmund, made a stunning debut in his side's 3-1 win over Bayern Munich last month and has been included in Osieck's 17-man squad ahead of the likes of Federici, Brad Jones and Eugene Galekovic.
"Mitchell Langerak impressed me in the top game in Germany when he played against Bayern Munich," Osieck said. "He was a candidate for the camp anyway, then after that performance I thought why not give him the chance to smell the air with the Socceroos?
"He will also get the opportunity to be together with Mark Schwarzer, who is a great teacher. I saw that in the in tournament (Asian Cup) recently that he passed on his experience and it's a great opportunity for Mitch to work together with Mark."
Federici was widely considered number two to Schwarzer before the Asian Cup, but pulled out of the tournament to concentrate on his club football with English Championship side Reading. While a recent knee injury has seen him sidelined and ruled him out of the Germany match, Osieck said Federici is still very much in his thoughts down the track.
"Recent history shows that he (Federici) didn't play for his club as well. It was because of an injury - he twisted his knee, and he had been out for a number of games," Osieck said. "Therefore I thought it would be better for him to get back and be healthy again and then down the road he definitely will be part of our group as well. We are in a very fortunate position; we have a number of excellent goalkeepers, so there won't be any problem to make the right choice."
Germany defeated Australia 4-0 en route to a third-placed finish at last year's FIFA World Cup™. The Europeans are currently third in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking and most recently drew 1-1 with Italy in a friendly last month.
Goalkeepers: Mark Schwarzer (Fulham/England), Mitch Langerak (Borussia Dortmund/Germany)
Defenders: Sasa Ognenovski (Seongnam Ilhwa/Korea Republic), Luke Wilkshire (Dinamo Moscow/Russia), Jon McKain (Al Nassr/Saudi Arabia), Lucas Neill (Galatasaray/Turkey), David Carney (Blackpool/England)
Midfielders: Brett Emerton (Blackburn/England), Brett Holman (AZ Alkmaar/Netherlands), Mile Jedinak (Genclerbirligi/Turkey), Harry Kewell (Galatasaray/Turkey), Neil Kilkenny (Leeds United/England), Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar), Carl Valeri (Sassuolo/Italy)
Forwards: Tim Cahill (Everton/England), Robbie Kruse (Melbourne Victory), Nikita Rukavytsya (Hertha Berlin/Germany)