German national coach Jurgen Klinsmann continues to introduce fresh faces to the international team, with three new call-ups named in his 18-man squad for the trip to Asia scheduled for 13-22 December.
Arminia Bielefeld defender Patrick Owomoyela, Schalke left back Christian Pander and Wolfsburg goalkeeper Simon Jentzsch are the new trio joining familiar faces such as Michael Ballack and Oliver Kahn.
Owomoyela, 25, is the most interesting inclusion with the Hamburg-born defender able to represent Nigeria or Germany courtesy of his German mother and Nigerian father.
“He is athletic, good in the air and very quick,” enthused Klinsmann.
Pander, 21, has been an integral part of his club’s title bid this season.
“He has developed well at Schalke and has the advantage of being left-footed,” said the 1990 World Cup winner.
Jentzsch, 28, has long been touted for a call-up and finally has the chance to impress although he has Kahn, Jens Lehmann and Timo Hildebrand blocking his path.
Stuttgart trio Hildebrand, Kevin Kuranyi and Philipp Lahm will hook up with the rest of the squad on December 19 due to UEFA Cup commitments with their club.
Klinsmann, 40, has been criticised for the decision to take the team to Asia in the winter break, but he maintained the matches against Japan, South Korea and Thailand are crucial for the 2006 World Cup.
“There is no point talking about the negative aspects,” countered Klinsmann. “We will get to test ourselves against the Asian teams and that is important with the 2006 World Cup in mind.”
Goalkeepers: Oliver Kahn (Bayern Munich), Simon Jentzsch (VfL Wolfsburg)
Defenders: Christian Woerns (Borussia Dortmund), Patrick Owomoyela (Arminia Bielefeld), Per Martesacker (Hannover), Robert Huth (Chelsea), Christian Pander (Schalke 04)
Midfielders: Bastien Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Torsten Frings (Bayern Munich), Michael Ballack (Bayern Munich), Bernd Schneider (Bayer Leverkusen), Fabien Ernst (Werder Bremen), Frank Baumann (Werder Bremen), Tim Borowski (Werder Bremen)
Strikers: Miroslav Klose (Werder Bremen), Lukas Podolski (Cologne), Gerald Asamoah (Schalke 04), Thomas Brdaric (VfL Wolfsburg)