Luton - Everton breakthrough star Ross Barkley, 20, was named in a youthful England World Cup squad on Monday, but Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick only made the standby list.
Liverpool's 19-year-old winger Raheem Sterling and Southampton's 18-year-old left-back Luke Shaw also made the cut in a squad that contained only six players with previous World Cup experience.
"They have imposed themselves and imposed their ability in my thinking," said England manager Roy Hodgson.
"If I picked my squad in October after the last two World Cup qualifiers, then it might have looked different."
Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole announced his international retirement on Sunday after being informed by Hodgson that he would not be selected, and Shaw took his place.
"Ashley is a player that I and the rest of my staff appreciate," Hodgson told a press conference at the headquarters of one of England's sponsors in Luton 47km north of London.
"He is a magnificent player and what he's done for England is second to none. Luke Shaw has had a wonderful season. He has captured headlines with his form and ability.
"One player has 107 caps and one has many caps to come. It was a hard job to ring Ashley and I can only be unbelievably grateful for the gracious way he accepted the decision."
Cole's Chelsea team-mate Frank Lampard was selected, despite doubts about the 35-year-old's inclusion, and took his place alongside fellow stalwarts Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney.
Tottenham Hotspur right-back Kyle Walker missed out due to a pelvic injury, however, while Theo Walcott, Jay Rodriguez and Andros Townsend had previously been ruled out by injury.Walker tweeted: "Gutted to miss the World Cup because of my injury.
"We're taking a strong group of players to Brazil. All the best boys, I'll be supporting you!"
Phil Jones, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere all overcame injury scares to be included in the 23-man list, but 19-year-old Everton defender John Stones was placed on standby due to concerns over the fitness of United defender Jones.
"The only one I would say that seriously poses a question is Phil Jones," Hodgson said.
"He had his shoulder injury a week ago and, from what everyone tells me and my experience, it is a three-week injury to be back and playing.
"But we can't guarantee that so I will be taking John Stones and (Liverpool's) Jon Flanagan with me. Stones will be Jones's replacement."
England have been drawn in Group D at the World Cup in Brazil alongside Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica. Hodgson must confirm his final 23-man squad by June 2.
The squad are due to fly to Portugal for a four-day training camp next week, before returning to face Peru at Wembley on May 30 in their final pre-World Cup game on home soil.
They will then travel to Miami, where they play Ecuador and Honduras on June 4 and 7, before flying to Rio de Janeiro.
will be based in Rio's Sao Conrado district during the World Cup and
will open their campaign against Italy in the Amazonian city of Manaus
on June 14.
England's 23-man provisional squad plus seven standby players for the World Cup finals:
Joe Hart (Manchester City), Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion), Fraser Forster (Celtic)
Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Phil Jones (Manchester United)
Ross Barkley (Everton), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Adam Lallana (Southampton), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), James Milner (Manchester City), Jack Wilshere(Arsenal)
Rickie Lambert (Southampton), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United)
John Ruddy (Norwich City), Jon Flanagan (Liverpool), John Stones (Everton), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Andy Carroll (West Ham United), Jermain Defoe (Toronto FC).