Oranje friendly squad surprises many
Netherlands football coach Louis van Gaal surprised many with his selection of players for a tune-up match against France next week, leaving Nigel de Jong (M) Stefan de Vrij (D) and Maarten Stekelenburg (G) off the sheet. Jean-Paul Boëtius (F), Davy Klaassen (M) and Quincy Promes (F) will get their Oranje debuts in the match.
The match against France is scheduled for 21:00 Wednesday, March 5, in Paris. There are three more friendlies on the calendar before the World Cup in Brazil. The Dutch battle Ecuador on May 17, Ghana on May 31, and Wales on June 4.
Van Gaal said in a press conference today that the coaching staff is evaluating about 50 different players to take to the World Cup. Rafael van der Vaart (M) is off the team due to injury, as is Leroy Fer (M).
The players Van Gaal will have to choose from next week include:
Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen (Ajax), Michel Vorm (Swansea City), Jeroen Zoet (PSV)
Defenders: Daley Blind (Ajax), Daryl Janmaat (Feyenoord), Bruno Martins Indi (Feyenoord), Gregory van der Wiel (Paris Saint-Germain), Paul Verhaegh (FC Augsburg), Karim Rekik (PSV), Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa), Joël Veltman (Ajax)
Midfielders: Jordy Clasie (Feyenoord), Wesley Sneijder (Galatasaray), Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Stijn Schaars (PSV), Kevin Strootman (AS Roma)
Forwards: Jean-Paul Boëtius (Feyenoord), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke 04), Robin van Persie (Manchester United), Memphis Depay (PSV), Dirk Kuijt (Fenerbahçe), Quincy Promes (FC Twente), Arjen Robben (Bayern München)