Goalkeepers: Mathew Ryan (Club Bruges) Age 22; 6 caps. Originallyconsidered Langerak’s deputy, but consistent starts in theBelgian top flight mean he is likely to be Ange Postecoglou’sfirst choice in Brazil. Was selected ahead of Langerak in theSocceroos’ friendly loss to Ecuador in March.
Mitchell Langerak (Borussia Dortmund) Age 25; 3 caps. Anundoubtedly talented goalkeeper who has played second fiddle atDortmund since 2010. Form and fitness has suffered fromextensive time on the bench. Red card in friendly againstEcuador did not help his cause
Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United) Age 32 (33 on June 12); 8 caps. The most experienced of the three goalkeepers in the squad, Galekovic had an unsuccessful stint in Portugal with Beira Mar before returning to Australia. A fine shot-stopper and A-League goalkeeper of the year for the 2013-14 season.
Defenders: Matthew Spiranovic (Western Sydney Wanderers) Age 25 (26 on June 27); 17 caps. Following stints in Germany, Japan and Qatar, a move to A-League side Western Sydney Wanderers has paid dividends. Has quickly established himself as one of competition’s top defenders. Tall and strong in the centre of defence, but also has the poise and awareness to create from the back.
Jason Davidson (Heracles Almelo) Age 22 (23 on June 29); 6 caps. Has long been earmarked for left-back position. Son of former Socceroo Alan, he has consistently played full games for Heracles Almelo this season. Postecoglou started him in both Costa Rica and Ecuador friendlies when he was troubled by Ecuador’s wingers.
Ivan Franjic (Brisbane Roar) Age 26; 8 caps. Key part ofBrisbane Roar’s A-League success this year has been his work indefence. Versatile right-back who is happy to get forward. Foundhimself exposed a few times against Ecuador. An ankle injury haslimited his game time recently.
Bailey Wright (Preston North End) Age 21; 0 caps. The big surprise of the preliminary squad announcement, centre back Wright earned his ticket to Brazil on the back of a season where he played 51 games for Preston in the English lower leagues. Can also cover at fullback.
Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors) Age 29; 2 caps. A former youth international, centre back Wilkinson finally got his first full cap this year but blotted his copybook on debut when his stoppage time error allowed Ecuador to score the winner.
Ryan McGowan (Shandong Luneng) Age 24; 9 caps. Versatile defender who played for five years in Scotland with Hearts before moving to China. Took a lot of the blame for the 6-0 thrashing by Brazil in Brasilia last year that led to the sacking of coach Holger Osieck.
Midfielders: Oliver Bozanic (Luzern) Age 25; 3 caps. Left-sided midfielder who likes to get forward, Bozanic learned trade inthe A-League and English lower leagues. Made Socceroos debutagainst Canada last year after back-to-back 6-0 losses to Braziland France.
Mark Bresciano (Al Gharafa, Qatar) Age 34; 73 caps.Explosive and versatile midfielder with an eye for goal who carved out a successful career in Serie A before moving to Gulf.Hoping to be one of old hands retained for a third successive World Cup despite Postecoglou’s desire to rejuvenate the team.
James Holland (Austria Vienna) Age 25; 13 caps. Highly ratedas a teenager, he is a defensive midfielder who had unhappyspell in Netherlands. Revived career with move to Vienna, wherebecame one of few Australians currently playing to haveexperience of Champions League football.
Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace) Age 29; 43 caps. Rewarded for good form at club level with captain’s arm band against Ecuador and looks likely to retain it. Defensive midfield stalwart at Crystal Palace, the former Central Coast Mariner is only Australian firmly entrenched in the starting XI of a Premier League club. Ability to hold the midfield will play a crucial role in bolstering an inexperienced defence.
Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar) Age 31; 46 caps. Recovered well from ankle injury to re-establish himself as one of A-League’s form midfielders. Left-footer has plenty of experience, having played in China and Scotland between stints at Brisbane Roar. Versatile player who can also push back into defence whenneeded, he works hard to win possession and distribute the ball.
Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory) Age 28; 28 caps.Versatility, experience and leadership qualities make him one of most important players in squad. At Victory, directs trafficaround the park from holding midfield position, while at international level he is also capable of shifting into defence when necessary. Expect to see him at the heart of Socceroos engine room alongside Jedinak in gritty, defensive setup.
Dario Vidosic (Sion) Age 27; 22 caps. Croatian-born playmaker was included in the squad for 2010 finals but failedto get a game. Was frustrated with negativity of German soccer after four years at FC Nuremberg but returned to Europe with Sion last year after a stellar season at Adelaide United.
Tommy Oar (Utrecht) Age 22; 14 caps. Has searing pace, a wonderful touch and a cultured left foot. Long been Australia’s great hope and was dubbed “new Harry Kewell” as a teenager. Never happier than when running at defenders, if he can find space he will threaten any team.
James Troisi (Atalanta) Age 25 (26 on July 3); 10 caps. An attacking midfielder, Troisi was signed by Juventus in 2012 but immediately moved on to Atalanta. Was loaned out to Melbourne Victory last season and scored 12 goals in the A-League to earn his place in the squad.
Massimo Luongo (Swindon Town) Age 21; 1 cap. Started his professional career at Tottenham Hotspur but failed to establish himself at White Hart Lane or in a subsequent loan spell at Ipswich Town. A calm presence at the heart of the midfield, he got his breakthrough at Swindon and earned his first cap against Ecuador in March.
Forwards: Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls) Age 34; 68 caps. Never had much pace to lose so his effectiveness looks undiminished by age. Always an aerial threat despite his modest height, he still manages to escape his markers and get above much taller defenders. Australia’s all-time top scorer with 31 goals and, his country will be hoping, an inspiration to younger players.
Matthew Leckie (FSV Frankfurt 1899) Age 23; 7 caps. Physical, pacy forward with no small measure of skill who can play up front or on the flank. Proved a handful for Ecuador’s defenders in March’s friendly but faded later in the game.
Adam Taggart (Newcastle Jets) Age 21; 4 caps. A rare breed in Australia as an out-and-out goalscorer, Taggart was the top marksman in the A-League with 16 goals for the Newcastle Jets last season. Has scored three times in four games for the Socceroos.
Ben Halloran (Fortuna Duesseldorf) Age 21 (22 on June 14); 1 cap. The pacy Halloran scored five goals in the final six games of the season for Fortuna Duesseldorf in the German second tier to put himself on Postecoglou’s radar. A bright performance on his debut as a second-half substitute against South Africa in May earned him his place on the plane to Brazil.