And then there were 21. The A-Leagues All Stars squad has been revised and confirmed for this week’s blockbuster game against LaLiga giants Barcelona.
Manchester United great Dwight Yorke will lead the All Stars in Wednesday’s clash with Barca at Accor Stadium in Sydney.
The squad is locked in for the midweek showdown and there are changes from the 30-player list, most notably due to Saturday’s Isuzu UTE A-League Grand Final between Melbourne City and Western United.
Adelaide United defender Alexandar Popovic, Macarthur FC centre-back Adrian Mariappa and Olivier Boumal of Newcastle Jets have been drafted in to take on Barca.
City quartet Mathew Leckie, Jamie Maclaren, Marco Tilio and Curtis Good have dropped out, as well as Western’s Jamie Young, Ben Garuccio and Leo Lacroix – all Grand Final participants were never going to be replaced.
Injuries have forced Adelaide United captain Craig Goodwin and Melbourne Victory pair Jake Brimmer and Roderick Miranda to withdraw, while Newcastle Jets forward Beka Mikeltadze is out of the squad due to personal reasons.
“He is a rare player we (don’t) have in Australia at the moment,” Adelaide head coach Carl Veart said of 19-year-old centre-back Popovic.
“Because he knows how to defend and he can actually defend, which is rare in Australia.
“He is young, 10 games this year, he just needs to get his body right ….”
ALL STARS SQUAD
Nestory Irankunda: Adelaide United (Coach Selection)
Isaias: Adelaide United (Coach Selection)
Alexandar Popovic: Adelaide United (Replacement)
Scott Neville: Brisbane Roar FC (Coach Selection)
James O’Shea: Brisbane Roar FC (Coach Selection)
Garang Kuol: Central Coast Mariners (APL Commissioner Selection)
Kye Rowles: Central Coast Mariners (Coach Selection)
Jason Cummings: Central Coast Mariners (Coach Selection)
Filip Kurto: Macarthur FC (Coach Selection)
Adrian Mariappa: Macarthur FC (Coach Selection)
Jason Davidson: Melbourne Victory (Fan Selection)
Olivier Boumal: Newcastle Jets (Replacement)
Daniel Penha: Newcastle Jets (Fan Selection)
Callum Timmins: Perth Glory (Coach Selection)
Andrew Redmayne: Sydney FC (Coach Selection)
Anthony Caceres: Sydney FC (Fan Selection)
Rhyan Grant: Sydney FC (Fan Selection)
Milos Ninkovic: Sydney FC (Fan Selection)
Reno Piscopo: Wellington Phoenix (APL Commissioner Selection)
Jack Rodwell: Western Sydney Wanderers FC (Coach Selection)
Adama Traore: Western Sydney Wanderers FC (Fan Selection)