BERLIN (AP) — Mario Gomez was left off Germany’s World Cup roster by coach Joachim Loew, who selected six players with no previous national team experience for his 30-man preliminary roster.
The roster announced Thursday, which averages 24.8 years, includes among the newcomers Sampdoria defender Shkodran Mustafi (22), Borussia Dortmund defender Erik Durm (22 on Monday), Augsburg attacking midfielder Andre Hahn (23), Hoffenheim forward Kevin Volland (21), and Schalke midfielders Max Meyer (18) and Leon Goretzka (19).
Freiburg midfielder Matthias Ginter, who made his debut against Chile in March, also was picked.
“We need young dynamic players like those who perhaps only recently played themselves into contention. They can inject fresh impetus into the side,” said Loew, whose team was booed by its own fans during the lackluster 1-0 win over Chile.
Germany is grouped with the United States, Portugal and Ghana at the World Cup. Loew was an assistant to Jurgen Klinsmann at the 2006 World Cup, then took over after the tournament. Klinsmann was hired as coach of the U.S. team in 2011.
Loew thought he struck the right balance between youth and experience.
“Many players are used to high-pressure situations from playing in the Champions League. They can live with it,” Loew said. “Our foreign-based players also profit from establishing themselves abroad. That brings them further on a sporting level. Generally we have a good mix in the squad.”
Gomez, who has 25 goals in 59 games for Germany, missed out due to a left knee injury. He has played his just 15 matches for Fiorentina this season – after being sidelined from Sept. 15 to Feb. 15, he hasn’t played since March 23.
“He was injured for seven months, only played 280 minutes since September,” Loew said. “So I formed the opinion that he isn’t in a position physically to cope with the conditions in Brazil.
Dortmund’s Roman Weidenfeller and Hannover’s Ron-Robert Zieler will back up starting goalkeeper Manuel Neuer of Bayern Munich. Borussia Moenchengladbach goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen and former starting national team goalkeeper Rene Adler also were bypassed.
“We didn’t make any decisions `against’ any players but for those who would maximize potential of the squad. We’re very sorry for the players who didn’t make it,” Loew said.
Loew said he picked the players based on current form and fitness but made an exception in selecting midfielder Sami Khedira, who has yet to play for Real Madrid since knee surgery in November.
Bayern contributes seven players, Dortmund six and Arsenal three.
Loew was submit a final 23-man roster to FIFA by June 2.
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Roman Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover)
Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Erik Durm (Borussia Dortmund), Kevin Grosskreutz (Borussia Dortmund), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Marcell Jansen (Hamburg), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal, England), Shkodran Mustafi (Sampdoria, Italy), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund)
Midfielders: Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Schalke), Matthias Ginter (Freiburg), Leon Goretzka (Schalke), Mario Goetze (Bayern Munich), Andre Hahn (Augsburg), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid, Spain), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Max Meyer (Schalke), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Andre Schuerrle (Chelsea, England), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich)
Forwards: Miroslav Klose (Lazio, Italy), Kevin Volland (Hoffenheim), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal, England), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich)