Germany leaves Reus, Goetze out for games vs. Spain, Brazil
BERLIN (AP) — Germany coach Joachim Loew kept Marco Reus out of the national team squad for upcoming friendlies against Spain and Brazil, saying it was in the player’s own interest.
Both Reus and Borussia Dortmund teammate Mario Goetze failed to make the 26-player squad on Friday for the defending world champion’s games against Spain in Duesseldorf on March 23 and against Brazil in Berlin four days later.
Loew said that Reus, who only recently returned from a serious knee injury sustained in the German Cup final last May, needs to continue his recovery without extra pressure.
“It’s important for us that Marco is guided to the top level gently and without additional pressure and that he gets stability,” Loew said. “This means that he’s free of complaints, fit and playing over a longer period, that he trains, finds his rhythm and thus gains security and confidence.”
The 29-year-old Reus, who missed Euro 2016 and the 2014 World Cup with injuries sustained shortly before both tournaments, has just 29 appearances for Germany. However, he has scored three goals in five Bundesliga appearances since his return last month.
Reus had to go off during Dortmund’s Europa League exit in Salzburg on Thursday with a groin problem.
Dortmund coach Peter Stoeger said Friday that Reus might miss the side’s Bundesliga game against Hannover on Sunday, but he was not “definitely” ruled out.
Goetze, who scored Germany’s winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final, has not yet returned to his previous level after missing much of last season with a metabolic health issue.
Loew called up three forwards in Leipzig’s Timo Werner, Stuttgart’s Mario Gomez and Bayern Munich’s Sandro Wagner.
Jonas Hector and Leon Goretzka return after overcoming injuries, while Amin Younes of Ajax was not recalled.
Germany’s No. 1 goalkeeper Manuel Neuer remains injured.
“In some positions we have a great choice, but not in others,” Loew said. “So we also need players who are flexible and versatile. The door of the national team is not yet closed. There are still some players who remain under observation and who have a chance if they impress us in the next weeks.”
Germany begins its World Cup defense against Mexico in Moscow on June 17.
Goalkeepers: Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (Paris Saint-Germain).
Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Marvin Plattenhardt (Hertha Berlin), Antonio Ruediger (Chelsea), Niklas Suele (Bayern Munich).
Midfielders: Sami Khedira (Juventus), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Emre Can (Liverpool), Julian Draxler (Paris Saint-Germain), Leon Goretzka (Schalke), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Sebastian Rudy (Bayern Munich), Leroy Sane (Manchester City), Lars Stindl (Borussia Moenchengladbach).
Forwards: Timo Werner (Leipzig), Mario Gomez (Stuttgart), Sandro Wagner (Bayern Munich).