Soccer: Carragher comes out of England retirement for Cup
By ROB HARRIS
AP Sports Writer
WEMBLEY, England — England coach Fabio Capello has persuaded defender Jamie Carragher to come out of international retirement for the World Cup, while center back Ledley King has been selected in the preliminary roster despite chronic knee problems.
Carragher, a 32-year-old Liverpool defender, quit international soccer three years ago after being snubbed by Capello's predecessor, Steve McClaren. Capello said he asked Carragher two months ago to return because "he is a really, really good player."
"I said I would make myself available," said Carragher, who has played 34 times for England. "The World Cup and Champions League are the highest levels of football. I'm not getting any younger, we have no Champions League football next season and I am keen to work under Fabio Capello."
The 29-year-old King, who also last played for England in 2007, also was included in the 30-man provisional roster despite the Tottenham player being unable to train between matches due to knee problems.
"We have been monitoring him for a long time — he is one of the best England defenders," Capello said.
Neither played during qualifying, but Wes Brown and Joleon Lescott have been ruled out of the World Cup due to injuries.
The final 23-man roster will be announced on June 1 after a training camp in Austria and exhibitions against Mexico and Japan. England plays the United States in its World Cup opener on June 12.
In midfield, Manchester City's Gareth Barry was included despite being ruled out until June with ankle ligament damage. He'll be re-evaluated May 24 by England's medical staff. Chelsea's Joe Cole was picked despite injuries and a lack of form keeping him off England's roster for almost two years.
West Ham midfielder Scott Parker also has a chance to convince Capello to take him to South Africa.
Capello tried to convince Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes to return, six years after the 35-year-old retired from international play, but was unsuccessful.
"He said he would prefer to spend time with his family," Capello said.
Two players were picked who have never played for the national team: Manchester City winger Adam Johnson and Spurs center back Michael Dawson.
"When you're playing for a top football club, as I have been this season on a regular basis and putting in good performances, there's always that chance of playing for England," Dawson said. "Luckily enough, I've got the call."
Aston Villa's Stephen Warnock and Everton's Leighton Baines are backup options for left back Ashley Cole. Manchester City left back Wayne Bridge quit the national team in February after allegations that captain John Terry had an affair with the mother of his child.
Up front, forwards Wayne Rooney and Emile Heskey have been joined by Tottenham's Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe, as well as Sunderland's Darren Bent. Aston Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor, whose 13 goals tied him for 10th in league scoring, was not included.
Paul Robinson, England's first-choice goalkeeper at the 2006 World Cup, was left off. David James, Robert Green and Joe Hart were selected.
Goalkeepers: Robert Green (West Ham), Joe Hart (Manchester City), David James (Portsmouth)
Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Michael Dawson (Tottenham). Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Ledley King (Tottenham), John Terry (Chelsea), Matthew Upson (West Ham), Stephen Warnock (Aston Villa)
Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Manchester City), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham), Adam Johnson (Manchester City), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham), James Milner (Aston Villa), Scott Parker (West Ham), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City)
Forwards: Darren Bent (Sunderland), Peter Crouch (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)