Jogi picks his 23

Jogi Löw picked four players to head home from training in southern France instead of moving on to Poland for the EM:

ter Stegen, Draxler, Sven Bender, and Cacau.

Most of the German press had already tipped the first three to be cut from the team. The youngsters have plenty of time and more than enough talent to make it back on the team for the WM in 2014.

That veteran Cacau was struck off the list is a bit of a surprise, at least to me. Even though the striker has had a subpar season at Stuttgart, Jogi tends to concentrate on players' performances at the national level and to stick with players he knows. I had expected (but not favored) Cacau to get the nod for one more big tournament.

Instead, the talented Ikay Gündogan will fill out a somewhat oversubscribed midfield roster. My guess is that he'll be along for the ride but not see all that much playing time. The official DFB Nationalmannschaft site lists only Klose and Gomez as strikers, but I would guess that Löw has decided Reus can play well enough up front that he'll be the third striker option.

Even though Per Mertesacker looks pretty wobbly in defense and would have been on my list of possibles to be struck from the team, JL is keeping him on. It's still very unclear how the back four is going to work out -- according to quotes from JL to Spiegel and some other German papers, it's basically up to Philipp Lahm to say which side he'd rather play on.

Since the Bayern players only showed up to training camp Friday night and didn't play the friendly against Switzerland, the quick decision by Löw implies that the Bayern players' spots in the roster had been all but guaranteed from the beginning.

The final 23:

Goal: Neuer, Wiese, Zieler

Defense: Badstuber, Boateng, Höwedes, Hummels, Lahm, Mertesacker, Schmelzer

Midfield/Forwards: Lars Bender, Götze, Gündogan, Khedira, Kroos, Müller, Özil, Podolski, Reus, Schürrle, Schweinsteiger

Strikers: Gomez, Klose

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