Each club is allowed three foreigners of any nationality, in addition to one from the Asian confederation in the Asian Champions League's '3+1 rule'.

Milos Ninkovic, Adam le Fondre and Siem de Jong make up the three foreigners in Sydney's squad, with new Iranian striker Reza Ghoochannedjad the Sky Blues 'plus one'.

Van der Linden, who has been in and out of the Sky Blues squad after gaining widespread criticism for performances early in the campaign, has been left out by Corica, although the club insist he will now "become vital to the club's A-League campaign". 

“We had to leave one player out and it was an extremely tough decision," Corica said.

“Jop is a fantastic professional, he has a great attitude and we’ll need his experience with a busy schedule towards the end of the season.”

“We are looking forward to a great campaign and the huge challenge of competing against the best of Asian football.

“We’ve been drawn against the Champions of China and Japan, as well as Korea’s third best club, so it’s a difficult task but one we are looking forward to.

“It’s exciting and something different for our players, particularly the younger boys, for whom the experience will one to relish and learn from."

The Sky Blues face Chinese Champions Shanghai SIPG, Japanese title holders Kawasaki Frontale and Korean club Ulsan Hyundai FC between March 6 and May 21.

Sydney FC’s 29-man AFC Champions League squad

1. Andrew Redmayne*
2. Aaron Calver*
3. Ben Warland*
4. Alex Wilkinson*
6. Joshua Brillante*
7. Michael Zullo*
8. Paulo Retre*
9. Adam Le Fondre
10. Milos Ninkovic*
11. Daniel De Silva
13. Brandon O'Neill*
14. Alex Brosque*
16. Reza Ghoochannejhad
17. Anthony Caceres*
18. Jacob Tratt
20. Alex Cisak*
21. Mitchell Austin
22. Siem De Jong
23. Rhyan Grant*
24. Cameron Devlin**
25. Joel King**
27. Jerry Skotadis**
28. Marco Tilio**
30. Tom Heward-Belle
31. Luke Ivanovic**
32. Jordi Swibel**
33. Liam McGing
34. Patrick Scibilio**