The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Germany coach Joachim Loew calls up 4 newcomers for squad to face Chile in friendly next week
FRANKFURT - A surprising four newcomers are in the Germany squad for the friendly against Chile next week.
With several stars injured, Germany coach Joachim Loew said on Friday he was looking for new options should some of them be unable to recover in time for the World Cup in Brazil.
Bastian Schweinsteiger, Miroslav Klose, Kevin Grosskreutz and Lukas Podolski return after missing recent games with injuries.
The four newcomers include Sampdoria defender Shkodran Mustafi, who plays in the Serie A and is hardly know in Germany.
The other three are defender Matthias Ginter of Freiburg, striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga of Hamburger SV and attacking midfielder Andre Hahn of Augsburg.
Among those with long-term injuries are Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan.
Striker Mario Gomez has just returned for Fiorentina, Schweinsteiger is still seeking top form after a long ankle injury, and defender Mats Hummels of Borussia Dortmund has been set back several times in his comeback from a foot injury.
"We can't and we won't make any compromises for the World Cup," Loew said in a statement. "Many, including key players, are either still injured or just coming back and are not in their rhythm."
Loew said Wednesday's match in Stuttgart was an opportunity to look at "new faces" and different options "in case of emergencies."
The coach, who is still seeking a major title with Germany, indicated he would take only to Brazil players who are able to complete the full preparations, including a training camp in Italy in May.
"All players have to be completely fit and capable of taking the load physically and mentally" by then, Loew said.
Apart from the injured Thomas Mueller of Bayern Munich and Sven Bender of Borussia Dortmund, Loew also left out Gomez, Hummels, Dortmund's Marco Reus, and Schalke's Julian Draxler and Benedikt Hoewedes, who all only recently returned to action.
Forward Max Kruse of Borussia Moenchengladbach and goalkeeper Rene Adler have been in poor form and were also dropped.
Borussia Dortmund's Roman Weidenfeller is the backup goalkeeper for Manuel Neuer of Bayern Munich.
Germany's group opponents at the World Cup are Ghana, Portugal and the United States.
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