Loew goes high on youth

Loew goes high on youth

German coach calls up teen talents in 30-man squad

Loew goes high on youth

  Germany injected a strong dose of youth into their provisional 30-man World Cup squad, calling up talented Schalke 04 teenagers Leon Goretzka and Max Meyer on Thursday.

Along with 19-year-old Goretzka and 18-year-old Meyer, who had a spectacular debut season in the Bundesliga, coach Joachim Loew also drafted in Borussia Dortmund's Erik Durm, little-known Shkodran Mustafi of Sampdoria and Matthias Ginter of Freiburg.

Loew did a similar thing before the 2010 edition in South Africa when he announced Germany's youngest World Cup squad in 76 years and they went on to finish third in the tournament.

Germany have been drawn in Group G for next month's World Cup in Brazil along with Ghana, Portugal and United States. "When picking the squad it was important for us to have the right mix of experience and carefreeness and freshness," Loew told a news conference.

"Given the injuries and absences in the past few months it has not been an ideal situation for the national team. But we will rise to the challenges and we will find solutions and alternatives."

Loew, whose team face Poland in a friendly next week, will cut the squad down to 25 or 26 for a training camp in Italy on May 21 before submitting his final 23 players for the tournament by June 2.

The coach also included Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira, now back in action after tearing cruciate knee ligaments last year, but dropped forward Mario Gomez who missed most of the season at Fiorentina with injury.

Provisional squad:

Germany:  Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Roman Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hanover 96)

Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Kevin Grosskreutz (Borussia Dortmund), Erik Durm (Borussia Dortmund), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke 04) Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Marcell Jansen (Hamburg SV), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Shkodran Mustafi (Sampdoria) Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich).

Midfielders: Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Schalke 04), Matthias Ginter (Freiburg), Leon Goretzka (Schalke 04), Mario Goetze (Bayern Munich), Andre Hahn (Augsburg), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Max Meyer (Schalke 04), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Andre Schuerrle (Chelsea), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich). Forwards: Miroslav Klose (Lazio), Kevin Volland (Hoffenheim).