Graham Arnold drops Socceroos selection bombshell for World Cup; Garang Kuol to make team
Graham Arnold ‘makes SHOCK call over highly regarded goalkeeper’ in Socceroos squad bomb as Garang Kuol looks poised to make World Cup squad – but young star has turned his back on Australia
Graham Arnold has made a squad bomb ahead of the World Cup that has left decorated goalkeeper Mitch Langerak out of his 26-man Socceroos squad.
Langerak, 34, recently backflip on his international retirement, and was expected to challenge Mat Ryan to become Australia’s starting stopper in Qatar.
Before the squad is officially named at 4 p.m. Tuesday, it is believed that A-League veterans Andrew Redmayne and Danny Vukovic will instead be Ryan’s understudies.
Both Redmayne and Vukovic have worked closely for years with Socceroos goalkeeper coach John Crawley.
Redmayne was considered a lockout after his heroism in the penalty shoot-out win against Peru in June – but Vukovic, 37, is somewhat of a surprise.
Langerak has every reason to feel mortified – he was named player of the season at Japanese club Nagoya Grampus and broke his own J1 League record for clean sheets last year.
Graham Arnold has made a squad bomb ahead of the World Cup, leaving decorated goalkeeper Mitch Langerak out of his 26-man Socceroos roster for Qatar
A-League veteran Danny Vukovic, 37, has reportedly gotten the nod over hapless Langerak
Andrew Redmayne was the unexpected hero for the Socceroos in their epic World Cup qualifier win over Peru in June via penalty shootout – and will be on the plane to Qatar
The one-time Borussia Dortmund gloveman was chosen for September’s two friendlies against New Zealand in Brisbane and Auckland, but bizarrely warmed the bench.
One player who is sure to be mentioned by Arnold is Mat Leckie.
“It’s a great feeling,” Leckie said of his ongoing roster.
“But at the same time we know how tough the matches will be.”
Leckie, 31, will be attending his third World Cup, said the emotions at Australia’s selection were hard to describe.
“We all work so hard,” said the Melbourne City midfielder.
“The most important thing is that when you go to the national team, it’s not easy to stay in the national team for a long time.
Arnold will officially announce his 26-man squad on Tuesday at 4 p.m., ahead of the World Cup
“For the players who do that, of course, most of them are people with a really good mentality.
“And they have that different mentality in that they give everything every game and they know how important it is because once you’re gone it’s hard to come back.”
Ryan is also set to attend his third World Cup – becoming Australia’s captain.
Strikers Jamie Maclaren and Mitch Duke are mentioned, with X-factor youngster Garang Kuol and Scottish-born Jason Cummings strengthening by the minute.
Garank Kuol made his debut for the Socceroos in a friendly against New Zealand in September and is tipped to be on the plane to Qatar.
It’s clear that Central Coast Mariners striker Kuol – who is yet to start a professional game in his career – has done enough to impress Arnold, with Adam Taggart an unfortunate omission.
In other squad news, teenage boy Cristian Volpato has turned his back on the Socceroos – and will swear allegiance to Italy.
Midfielder Tom Rogic is expected to be in attendance – despite limited playing time for struggling West Bromwich Albion in the championship in recent weeks.
The Socceroos will face France in their opening game in Group D on November 23 (AEDT) before further games against Tunisia (November 26, 9pm) and Denmark (December 1, 2am).