Switzerland calls up Drmic for WCup qualifiers

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BERN, Switzerland (AP) -Zurich forward Josip Drmic is the only newcomer in a 23-player Switzerland squad that will open its 2014 World Cup qualifying program next month.

Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld selected the 20-year-old Drmic for the first time on Thursday and recalled Sampdoria defender Jonathan Rossini for the matches, at Slovenia in Ljubljana on Sept. 7 and against Albania four days later in Lucerne.

The Swiss were drawn as the third-seeded team, with Norway heading the six-team group which is perhaps the weakest in European qualifying. The group also includes Cyprus and Iceland.

The group winner qualifies directly for the 2014 tournament in Brazil. Eight of the nine European group runners-up advance to the playoffs.

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Squad:

Goalkeepers: Diego Benaglio (Wolfsburg), Yann Sommer (FC Basel), Marco Woelfli (Young Boys)

Defenders: Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus), Johan Djourou (Arsenal), Alain Nef (Young Boys), Steve von Bergen (Palermo), Jonathan Rossini (Sampdoria), Ricardo Rodriguez (Wolfsburg), Reto Ziegler (Juventus)

Midfielders: Valon Behrami (Napoli), Blerim Dzemaili (Napoli), Gokhan Inler (Napoli), Gelson Fernandes (Sporting Lisbon), Adrian Winter (Lucerne), Xherdan Shaqiri (Bayern Munich), Valentin Stocker (FC Basel), Tranquillo Barnetta (Schalke), Granit Xhaka (Borussia Moenchengladbach)

Forwards: Eren Derdiyok (Hoffenheim), Josip Drmic (FC Zurich), Mario Gavranovic (FC Zurich), Admir Mehmedi (Dynamo Kiev)

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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