Veterans Tim Cahill and Mark Milligan remain in the squad and are still on track for their fourth World Cup finals, while five current A-League players including 19-year-old Daniel Arzani are still in the running for Russian Federation.
Among the headline names in the squad are Tim Cahill, who is looking to become the first Australian to play in four World Cups, and Brazil 2014 captain Mile Jedinak.
Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop also defended Cahill's selection, rejecting the idea that his call-up had been influenced by commercial factors.
Australia's highest ever goalscorer has moved around the world in search of playing time in the lead up to the World Cup and it seems unlikely he would be one of the three players dropped before the tournament starts in June.
Maclaren's omission was the most controversial, having scored a hat-trick at the weekend for Hibs in their 5-5 draw with Rangers.
Cahill was unveiled as the centre of a marketing campaign by the Socceroos' primary sponsor Caltex, before the ink was even dry on Van Marwijk's trimmed group. In it, five gas stations will be rebranded as Cahilltex during May and June. "Look at Timmy's record".
"It's always a challenging task to reduce a squad, however this is the nature of professional sport at the highest level", said van Marwijk.
The Socceroos link-up for their training camp in Antalya on Sunday ahead of the clash with the Czech Republic in St Polten on June 1.
"Overall, I believe we have named a strong and ambitious squad for our training camp in Turkey and friendly against Czech Republic in Austria", van Marwijk said in a statement. Melbourne City's teenage attacking midfielder Daniel Arzani and Croatia-based defender Fran Karacic, the surprise pair in Van Marwijk's initial squad, were retained in the 26.
Australia are in Group C along with France, Denmark and Peru.