MELBOURNE – Australia coach Graham Arnold has called up uncapped striker Kusini Yengi into his squad for the team’s opening World Cup qualifiers against Bangladesh and Palestine.
Portsmouth striker Yengi and Charlton Athletic goalkeeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer are the only uncapped players in a relatively unchanged squad from the one that faced England and New Zealand in October.
Australia kick off a 16-game stretch to earn a spot at the 2026 World Cup in North America against Bangladesh in Melbourne on Nov. 16, with Palestine to follow five days later in Kuwait.
Australia made it to the round of 16 at the Qatar World Cup last year.
“We’ve had the opportunity to test ourselves against some of world football’s best in the last six months and our performances have shown just how effective we can be, learning a lot along the way,” Arnold said in a statement.
“It’s important that we build and maintain a momentum that will see us be successful throughout this campaign and beyond.”
Goalkeepers: Mat Ryan (capt), Joe Gauci, Ashley Maynard-Brewer
Defenders: Aziz Behich, Jordy Bos, Cameron Burgess, Alessandro Circati, Lewis Miller, Kye Rowles, Harry Souttar, Ryan Strain
Midfielders: Keanu Baccus, Jackson Irvine, Massimo Luongo, Riley McGree, Connor Metcalfe
Forwards: Brandon Borrello, Martin Boyle, Mitch Duke, Craig Goodwin, Jamie Maclaren, Sam Silvera, Kusini Yengi REUTERS
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