Loew picks 26 players for publicity events

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - Germany coach Joachim Loew has offered an early glimpse into his expected World Cup squad by picking 26 players for publicity events.

The players will assemble in Munich on Monday for two “marketing” days that will include shoots for sponsors and similar activities.

But Loew also wants to use the time to get his players into a World Cup mood.

Loew said it was “extremely important” to be able to speak personally to players.

“For us all, there is nothing greater than a World Cup in Brazil and we just can’t wait for it to start,” Loew said.

Arsenal players Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski will be missing due to club commitments. But the injured Sami Khedira and Mario Gomez have been invited.

Loew did not include any newcomers and there were no surprise omissions. Striker Stefan Kiessling, one of the top Bundesliga scorers in the past three seasons, was left out, although Loew has said that he might be part of the World Cup squad if one, or both, of his preferred strikers, Gomez and Miroslav Klose, may not be able to make the trip to Brazil.

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The 26 players invited to Munich:

Goalkeepers: Rene Adler (Hamburger SV), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Roman Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover).

Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund), Marcell Jansen (Hamburger SV), Heiko Westermann (Hamburger SV).

Midfielders: Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Sidney Sam (Bayer Leverkusen), Sven Bender (Borussia Dortmund), Ilkay Gundogan (Borussia Dortmund), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Julian Draxler (Schalke), Mario Goetze (Bayern Munich), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Andre Schuerrle (Chelsea).

Forwards: Mario Gomez (Fiorentina), Miroslav Klose (Lazio Rom)e, Max Kruse (Borussia Moenchengladbach).

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