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National Team

German coach Löw calls up core players for Paraguay test

Bundesliga behemoths Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund provide the spine of the German national team. Joachim Löw has recalled these core players for the season opener in Paraguay.

The German national team coach was able to call up 21 of the country's top players on Thursday for an August 14 friendly against Paraguay.

Champions League and German Cup final engagements meant that Jogi Löw's squad underwent a complete revamp during their last games - an end-of-season trip to the US.

"I'm very happy, that for the first time in five months we again have a lot of players in the squad who are the bedrock of our team," Löw said. "It's important to start strongly in the season that will end with the World Cup in Brazil. We want to ready ourselves for the World Cup qualifiers in September and October with this match."

Bayern's Manuel Neuer and Hamburg keeper Rene Adler were the only two goalies chosen for the upcoming friendly game against Paraguay, a team that would offer Germany a taste of the "typical South American game," according to Löw.

Captain Philipp Lahm and Dortmund center back Mats Hummels were among the high-profile returnees in defense.

Established names, at new homes

Perhaps the most prominent German player unavailable for selection was Bayern signing and former Dortmund star Mario Götze, who was sidelined with a ligament injury late last season.

Löw also expressed optimism about two other players, Andre Schürrle and Mario Gomez, who have left the Bundesliga for new clubs during the summer transfer window.

"I think both players will profit from their experiences abroad," Löw said. "It's clear that Schürrle is in good hands with Jose Mourinho [at Chelsea], because of the progress Mesut Özil and Sami Khedira made under Mourinho at Real Madrid."

As for former Bayern striker Gomez, now with Fiorentina, Löw said he was sure the forward would "make just as much of an impression" in Florence as fellow forward Miroslav Klose had at Lazio in Rome.

The midweek Paraguay game is sandwiched between the first and second weekends of top-flight Bundesliga competition among German clubs.

Here is the full German squad for the August 14 match in Kaiserslautern:

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Rene Adler (Hamburg)

Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern), Benedikt Höwedes (Schalke), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Marcell Jansen (Hamburg), Philipp Lahm (Bayern), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Marcel Schmelzer (Dortmund)

Midfielders: Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Sven Bender (Dortmund), Julian Draxler (Schalke), Ilkay Gündogan (Dortmund), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Thomas Müller (Bayern), Mesut Özil (Real Madrid), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Andre Schürrle (Chelsea)

Strikers: Mario Gomez (Fiorentina), Miroslav Klose (Lazio)

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