Tim Cahill is one of five Australia-based players picked in the extended 30-man Socceroos squad for next month’s World Cup qualifier in Thailand.
Head coach Ange Postecoglou added seven players to the squad which had a 2-2 draw at Saudi Arabia and was held to a 1-1 draw at home by Japan as he prepares for the last qualifier of 2016.
After opening with a pair of wins, unbeaten Australia has slipped to second in Pool B in the last round of Asian qualifying after the back-to-back draws. Saudi Arabia leads the group with three wins and a draw. The top two teams in both of the Asian qualifying groups earn an automatic spot at Russia 2018.
“After this game we will be at the halfway stage of qualification, so this game is important,” Postecoglou said. “We have players who are in the squad or on the fringe, including those playing in the A-League, that are just starting their seasons and with the tight turnaround from Japan to Thailand I wanted to have another look at them after they have showed good signs in the opening rounds.”
Cahill, who moved back to Australia to join Melbourne City this season after spending his entire professional career abroad, will be aiming for his 95th cap for the Socceroos in the Nov. 15 match in Bangkok. Joining him in the squad from the domestic league are his Melbourne City teammate Luke Brattan, along with Jason Geria, Josh Risdon and Tommy Oar.