Graham Arnold has leant away from his off-season A-League talent, opting instead for European-based players, as Martin Boyle also returns from injury for the matchup against El Tri.
Sam Silvera, Cameron Burgess and Ashley Maynard-Brewer have earned their maiden Socceroos call ups whilst Alessandro Circati and Thomas Glover will return to camp in search of their first international caps.
The list of uncapped players might’ve been even longer, with Arnold confirming that Portsmouth striker Kusini Yengi would’ve been selected if not for an ankle injury.
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The opportunity for so many young, Euro-based players to join the squad has come from Arnold’s reluctance to select A-League players, whose season starts three-months out of sync with the international windows.
“We’re playing against a top 12-nation in the world, we need players that are fit and got matches in their legs,” he said.
“We’ve been talking about this for a number of years, how [the A-League schedule] hurts the September and October windows.
“The hardest thing for me is having to ring those players and tell them that they haven’t been selected and it’s not their own fault.”
The squad to take on Mexico features just two A-League players, Aziz Behich and Matthew Leckie from Melbourne City.
Socceroos Squad to Take on Mexico (Caps)
- ATKINSON Nathaniel (7)
- BACCUS Keanu (7)
- BEHICH Aziz (59)
- BOYLE Martin (19)
- BURGESS Cameron (0)
- CIRCATI Alessandro (0)
- D’AGOSTINO Nicholas (2)
- DEGENEK Milos (44)
- DEVLIN Cameron (2)
- DUKE Mitchell (27)
- GENREAU Denis (5)
- GLOVER Thomas (0)
- IRVINE Jackson (55)
- LECKIE Mathew (78)
- MAYNARD-BREWER Ashley (0)
- MCGREE Riley (17)
- METCALFE Connor (8)
- O’NEILL Aiden (3)
- ROWLES Kye (10)
- RYAN Mathew (81)
- SILVERA Sam (0)
- SOUTTAR Harry (16)
- STRAIN Ryan (2)
Arnold piled on the praise for the former Chief Vibes Officer – Martin Boyle, as he makes his return as a player to the Socceroos squad after an ACL injury has kept him sidelined through the World Cup.
“You gotta give the guy full credit, he had the operation in November last year and nine months later he’s back,” he said.
“He’s worked extremely hard off the field to get it done… and he’s hit the ground running straight away at Hibs.
“If anyone does deserve anything it’s Boyley, because he’s comitted to Australia… the boys love him, we love him and it’ll be great to see him back in camp.”
Looking forward to the game, Arnold says it’s a great opportunity for the team to familiarise themselves with US conditions, one of the three host countries for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
With the game being played in Texas, close to the Mexican border, Arnold says the team will embrace the opportunity to play infront of a very partisan, Mexican crowd.
“It’s going to be great to see the Mexican wave live, a real one,” he said.
The match will played at 12pm AEST on Sunday, September 12 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas.