MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Veteran goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer will miss Australia’s friendly against New Zealand on Monday with a thumb sprain. Schwarzer’s injury during a practice session Wednesday will give Adam Federici, 25, the start at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia’s final home match before the World Cup in South Africa.
Team officials said Sunday the 37-year-old Fulham goalkeeper’s World Cup appearance is not in jeopardy. Federici played for Reading in the English championship this season.
Star striker Harry Kewell will also miss Monday’s match for Australia as he recovers from a persistent groin injury. Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek, who said his side’s six-day training camp in Melbourne was a success, will cut the provisional Australia squad from 31 to 27 on Tuesday.
He must select his final 23-man World Cup squad by June 1. “We’ve had a fantastic training camp, great training facilities, the boys have all done a fantastic job,” Verbeek said.
“But they know I have to make a few decisions before I go to South Africa and they have done everything to show us they are ready and want to be part of the World Cup selection.” Australia opens Group D preliminary play against Germany on June 13 in Durban.