MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) — Uruguay's new coach Marcelo Bielsa left veteran strikers Edinson Cavani and Luis Suárez out of his squad Monday for the first two rounds of South American World Cup qualifying.
Bielsa took the Uruguay job in May with the aim of rejuvenating the squad, and 30-year-old goalkeeper Sergio Rochet is the oldest player picked for the games against Chile in Montevideo on Friday and at Ecuador on Sept. 12.
Cavani and Suárez are both 36 and are playing for South American clubs now. Cavani is at Boca Juniors in Argentina and Suárez plays for Gremio in Brazil.
Liverpool's Darwin Núñez is expected to lead Uruguay's attack.
Bielsa also included two strikers playing in the MLS — Orlando City's Facundo Torres and Los Angeles FC's Cristian Olivera.
Goalkeepers: Sergio Rochet (Internacional), Franco Israel (Sporting Lisbon) and Santiago Mele (Junior Barranquilla)
Defenders: Santiago Bueno (Girona), Bruno Méndez (Corinthians), Sebastian Cácares (América de Mexico), Puma Rodríguez (Vasco da Gama), Mathías Olivera (Napoli), Joaquín Piquerez (Palmeiras), Matías Viña (Sassuolo), and Lucas Olaza (Krasnodar).
Midfielders: Federico Valverde (Real Madrid), Nahitan Nández (Cagliari), Felipe Carballo (Gremio), Emiliano Martínez (Midtjylland), Manuel Ugarte (Paris Saint-Germain), and Nicolás de la Cruz (River Plate).
Forwards: Agustín Canobbio (Athletico Paranaense), Maximiliano Araújo (Toluca), Facundo Torres (Orlando City), Brian Rodríguez (América de Mexico), Facundo Pellistri (Manchester United), Cristian Olivera (Los Angeles FC), Maxi Gómez (Cádiz), and Darwin Núñez (Liverpool).
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The Associated Press