Gauci named in Socceroos squad for Asian qualifiers

Adelaide United goalkeeper Joe Gauci’s incredible start to the 2023/24 Isuzu UTE A-League season has been rewarded with a call-up to the Subway Socceroos squad for the FIFA World Cup 2026 Second Round Asian qualifiers.

Gauci has been included in a 23-man squad named by head coach Graham Arnold for matches against Bangladesh on Thursday 16 November at AAMI Park in Melbourne and Palestine on Tuesday 21 November in Kuwait.

The squad is relatively unchanged from the one which faced England and New Zealand in October with Gauci among a handful of additions from the A-League.

The 23-year-old made his debut and only previous appearance for the national team in March against Ecuador. He currently leads the A-League for goals prevented, at an average of 2.8 per game. The next best is Central Coast shot stopper Danny Vukovic with 1.5.

Along with Gauci, fellow A-League players Brandon Borello (Western Sydney), Jamie Maclaren and Aziz Behich (Melbourne City) are in the squad, while former Adelaide United forward Kusini Yengi (Portsmouth, England) and Charlton Athletic goalkeeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer will join the Subway Socceroos camp for the first time.

Two other former Reds – Craig Goodwin (Al Wehda FC, Saudi Arabia) and Ryan Strain (St Mirren FC, Scotland) are also in the 23.

Next week’s fixtures are the start of a 16-game stretch to earn a place in the FIFA World Cup 2026 Final Rounds in what is one of world football’s longest qualification routes.

Subway Socceroos Head Coach Graham Arnold said would be focussed on making a strong start against Bangladesh and Palestine.

“It’s important that we build and maintain a momentum that will see us be successful throughout this campaign and beyond,” he said.

“We’re all really looking forward to playing in front of a home crowd, the connection we have with our fans and the energy and support they bring is a huge driver for us – I know the players can’t wait.”

The Second Round – which doubles as direct qualifiers for the AFC Asian Cup 2027 in Saudi Arabia – will see the Subway Socceroos play Bangladesh, Lebanon and Palestine in a home-and-away round-robin format between November 2023 and June 2024. Australia needs to either win the group or finish as runners up to qualify directly.

Fans in Australia will be able to watch the Subway Socceroos take on Bangladesh and Palestine live and exclusively on 10, 10Play and Paramount+.


Subway Socceroos v Bangladesh

Thursday, 16 November 2023

AAMI Park, Melbourne

Kick-off: 7:30pm ACDT

Palestine v Subway Socceroos

Tuesday, 21 November 2023

Jaber Al-Ahmed International Stadium, Kuwait

Kick off: TBC

NameCurrent Club, Country‘A’ Caps (Goals)Junior Club (Member Federation/Country)
Keanu BACCUSSt Mirren FC, Scotland10 (0)Parklea FC / Football New South Wales
Aziz BEHICHMelbourne City FC, Australia61 (2)Meadow Park SC / Football Victoria
Brandon BORRELLOWestern Sydney Wanderers FC, Australia9 (1)Modbury Jets SC / Football South Australia
Jordy BOSK.V.C Westerlo, Belgium4 (0) Hoppers Crossing SC / Football Victoria
Martin BOYLEHibernian FC, Scotland22 (6)Lewis United FC / Montrose FC (Scotland)
Cameron BURGESSIpswich Town FC, England2 (0)ECU Joondalup / Football West
Alessandro CIRCATIParma Calcio 1913, Italy1 (0)Perth Soccer Club / Football West
Mitchell DUKEFC Machida Zelvia, Japan30 (10)Liverpool Rangers SC / Football New South Wales
Joe GAUCI (Gk)Adelaide United FC, Australia1 (0)Cumberland United / Football South Australia
Craig GOODWINAl Wehda FC, Saudi Arabia18 (2)Munno Para City FC / Football South Australia
Jackson IRVINEFC St Pauli, Germany58 (9)Ringwood City SC / Football Victoria
Massimo LUONGOIpswich Town FC, England44 (6)APIA Leichhardt FC / Football New South Wales
Jamie MACLARENMelbourne City FC, Australia30 (8)Green Gully SC / Football Victoria
Ashley MAYNARD-BREWERCharlton Athletic FC, England0ECU Joondalup / Football West
Connor METCALFEFC St. Pauli, Germany11 (0)South Cardiff FC / Northern NSW Football
Lewis MILLERHibernian FC, Scotland2 (0)Pittwater RSL FC / Football New South Wales
Aiden O’NEILLStandard de Liege, Belgium5 (0)University of Queensland Football Club (formerly Kenmore FC) / Football Queensland
Kye ROWLESHeart of Midlothian FC, Scotland12 (0)Palm Beach SC / Football Queensland
Mathew RYAN (Gk) (Cpt)AZ Alkmaar, Netherland84 (0)Blacktown City FC / Football New South Wales
Sam SILVERAMiddlesbrough FC, England2 (0)Blacktown City FC / Football New South Wales
Harry SOUTTARLeicester City FC, England19 (8)Brechin City Boys Club (Scotland)
Ryan STRAINSt Mirren FC, Scotland4 (0)Aston Villa FC (UK)
Kusini YENGIPortsmouth FC, England0Fulham United FC / Football South Australia