Germany chooses uncapped Draxler for Euro 2012
RASTATT, Germany (AP) -Germany coach Joachim Loew on Monday named uncapped teenager Julian Draxler in his preliminary squad for the European Championships this summer.
The 18-year-old Schalke midfielder is the only surprise in Loew's 27-man squad.
"Draxler is a player with huge potential,'' Loew said. "He's good in one-on-one situations and he's very quick. A very good intelligent player. Perhaps he doesn't yet have the consistency but he's young and has had other commitments with school. But this will definitely bring him on further.''
Borussia Moenchengladbach's 20-year-old goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen was the other uncapped player selected, while Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Guendogan was recalled after making only one appearance during qualifying.
Loew praised ter Stegen for an "outstanding season, brilliant performances at such a young age'' but said he had not yet decided which of the three reserve goalkeepers named would accompany first-choice Manuel Neuer to Poland and Ukraine.
He also named Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker and Lazio striker Miroslav Klose. Both players are recovering from injury and will have to prove their fitness before the final 23-man squad is named on May 29.
"We have to see in the next weeks if (Mertesacker) will make it,'' said Loew, who appeared more confident that Klose will be able to add to his 63 goals.
"He has the green light. He feels good, I presume that he will play from the start in the next weeks,'' Loew said.
Both players will take part in a weeklong training camp in Sardinia on Friday. A second training camp is scheduled to begin May 19 in southern France.
Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich's players will join the training after the German Cup final on May 12. Bayern players will join the Euro 2012 preparations only after their Champions League final against Chelsea a week after that.
Hamburg defender Dennis Aogo, Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Simon Rolfes and Wolfsburg defender Christian Traesch failed to make the cut.
Wolfsburg striker Patrick Helmes was also tipped for a recall after scoring 10 goals in as many games to finish the Bundesliga strongly, but Loew opted for Stuttgart's Brazilian-born striker Cacau instead.
"We thought that Helmes is more of a counterattacking player, whereas Cacau can operate where there is less space,'' he said. "We're assuming teams will be defending deep against us and there will be little room to move. Cacau has always served us well in the past when he came on as a sub.''
Germany, which won all 10 Euro 2012 qualifying games, has been drawn in a tough group with Netherlands, Portugal and Denmark. Germany last won the European Championship title in 1996 when the tournament was staged in England.
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Tim Wiese (Werder Bremen), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover)
Defenders: Holger Badstuber (Bayern Munich), Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund).
Midfielders: Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Sven Bender (Borussia Dortmund), Julian Draxler (Schalke), Mario Goetze (Borussia Dortmund), Ilkay Guendogan (Borussia Dortmund), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Oezil (Real Madrid), Lukas Podolski, Marco Reus (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Andre Schuerrle (Bayer Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich).
Forwards: Cacau (Stuttgart), Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich), Miroslav Klose (Lazio).