SYDNEY — Western Sydney Wanderers captain Nikolai Topor-Stanley has been included in Australia's 23-man squad for an international friendly against Japan on Nov. 18, adding to his workload before the Club World Cup.
The Wanderers became the first Australian club to win the Asian Champions League title, holding on for a 0-0 at Al Hilal last Saturday after winning 1-0 at home the previous week. The meant the Wanderers qualified for the world club tournament in Morocco, where they'll open against Cruz Azul, the CONCACAF champion, on Dec. 13. A win there would set up a semifinal against Real Madrid on Dec. 16.
Coach Ange Postecoglou announced the squad Wednesday, saying the Osaka was the "final hit out" before Australia hosts the Asian Cup in January.
Center back Topor-Stanley was one of six domestic A-League players included the squad, although Postecoglou could not find room for veteran goalkeeper Ante Covic, who played an important role in the Wanderers' Asian campaign. Club Brugge's Mat Ryan remains first-choice keeper for Australia and Dortmund-based Mitch Langerak is backup.
"No-one gets discounted but at the same time I'm very, very mindful of the regeneration we've already started," Postecoglou said. "The reality of it is, this is a four-year cycle and we've got to pick players we are confident are going to be part of the program for the next four years.
"Matty Ryan has had a pretty extraordinary start to his season as well, playing in a team that's challenging for domestic honors and in the Europa League — he's grown in stature as a goalkeeper."
Postecoglou drafted in Terry Antonis, Mitch Nichols, Matt Mckay and Aaron Mooy from A League clubs, making five changes to the squad that played in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar last month.
Australia squad: Terry Antonis, Aziz Behich, Mark Bresciano, Joshua Brillante, Tim Cahill, Jason Davidson, Ivan Franjic, Chris Herd, James Holland, Mile Jedinak, Robbie Kruse, Mitch Langerak, Mathew
Leckie, Massimo Luongo, Matt McKay, Mark Milligan, Mitch Nichols, Aaron Mooy, Mat Ryan, Trent Sainsbury, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, James Troisi, Alex Wilkinson.