Brisbane Roar captain Matt McKay is in line to win his 58th international cap after being named today in a 23-player Socceroos squad for a 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Jordan in Amman on Thursday, 8 October.
The match coincides with the Roar’s Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season opener against Western Sydney Wanders FC at Pirtek Stadium – which the midfielder will now miss.
McKay trained strongly with the Roar squad yesterday after being substituted because of back soreness at half-time in last weekend’s 8-0 win over the PS4NPLQLD U23 All-Stars.
He is now expected to be in contention for the Roar’s final Pre-Season Tour game against Central Coast Mariners at Sunshine Coast Stadium, Bokarina, on Saturday, 26 September (7pm kick off).
“I feel good. I think it was just a cork from a tackle. I’m ready to go,” McKay said.
To book tickets ($10 and $5) for the Roar versus Mariners match, click here . Tickets will also be available at the gate.
Ange Postecoglou’s latest Socceroos squad has been boosted by the return of 2015 AFC Asian Cup Champions Trent Sainsbury, James Troisi and Tomi Juric.
“It is a sign of the depth we are creating that we bring these three guys back into the squad for the Jordan game,” Postecoglou said.
“We are slowly building a squad with alternatives and depth and when we add these three guys to the squad that did very well and won both games in the September window we are building nicely.
“We have said all along that we will need a pool deeper than 23 players throughout the World Cup Qualifiers as we strive to make an impact leading into the next World Cup in Russia.”
The Socceroos sit on top of Group B with a 100 per cent record, defeating Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh and Tajikistan, but the trip to Jordan looms as the toughest test for the Australians so far.
Jordan are two points behind the Socceroos after three matches.
“On paper this is the toughest match we face but we have seen in the earlier games, especially the clash with Kyrgyzstan away, that these matches present challenges on and off the field,” Postecoglou said.
“The last time Australia faced Jordan in Amman we lost that game so we have to be well prepared.”
Postecoglou has not selected Jackson Irvine and Chris Ikonomidis as the pair will travel to Korea with Aurelio Vidmar’s Olyroos squad for two matches against Korea Republic as they continue preparations for January’s Olympic Games Qualifiers.
Roar defender James Donachie also has been selected for the Olyroos tour and also will miss the Hyundai A-League opener.
“It’s important that we prepare well for these Olympic Games Qualifiers as the Olympic Games offer a big opportunity in the development of these younger players,” Postecoglou said.
The Socceroos match against Jordan will be broadcast exclusively LIVE on FOX SPORTS (1am AEST kick off) and on a one-hour delay on SBS.
Socceroos squad for 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier v Jordan is : Luke Brattan (Unattached), Nathan Burns (FC Tokyo, Japan), Tim Cahill (Shanghai Greenland Shenhua FC, China PR), Alex Cisak (gk) (Leyton Orient FC, England), Jason Davidson (Huddersfield Town AFC, England), Tarek Elrich (Adelaide United, Australia), Adam Federici (gk) (AFC Bournemouth, England), Eugene Galekovic (gk) (Adelaide United, Australia), Tomi Juric (Roda JC Kerkrade, Netherlands), Mathew Leckie (FC Ingolstadt 04, Germany), Massimo Luongo (Queens Park Rangers FC, England), Ryan McGowan (Dundee United, Scotland), Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar, Australia), James Meredith (Bradford City AFC , England), Mark Milligan (Baniyas SC, United Arab Emirates), Aaron Mooy (Melbourne City FC, Australia), Tommy Oar (Ipswich Town FC, England), Tom Rogic (Celtic FC, Scotland), Trent Sainsbury (PEC Zwolle, Netherlands), Matt Spiranovic (Hangzhou Greentown FC, China PR), James Troisi (Al Ittihad FC, Saudi Arabia), Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Hyundai FC, Korea Republic), Bailey Wright (Preston North End, England).