The United States women’s soccer team will travel to New Zealand in early 2023
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United States captain Megan Rapinoe lifts the World Cup trophy after beating the Netherlands in the 2019 final in Paris.
The United States women’s soccer team, world champions, will make an early visit to New Zealand next year for a camp and two games against the Football Ferns.
It is understood that NZ Football and US Soccer are close to confirming two matches between the co-hosts of the Women’s World Cup and the two-time defending champions in Auckland and Wellington at the end of January, six months before the start of the world tournament.
The United States are the most successful team in women’s football, having won the World Cup and the Olympics four times each, and it would be a huge coup to bring them to New Zealand ahead of the World Cup.
They have a huge profile around the world and are among the biggest names in women’s football, including Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, who boast millions of social media followers.
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New Zealand football will target huge crowds at the likely venues of Eden Park and Sky Stadium, well beyond the current record for a women’s game in New Zealand of 16,162 since the World Cup final under 17 in 2018 between the United States and the North. Korea.
It is understood that both matches will coincide with a training camp that the United States have planned for New Zealand in January.
Neither NZ Football nor US Soccer have confirmed the fixtures, but details of the trip have already been reported by several outlets in the United States citing sources.
In a statement to ThingsNZ Football said: “New Zealand football is in negotiations with a number of parties for matches for our national teams in 2023 but nothing is confirmed yet.
Football Fern Betsy Hassett travels to the other side of the world to join Wellington Phoenix.
“Details on the Ford Football Ferns’ final preparation program for their home World Cup campaign will be announced in due course.”
The visit will help the world’s No. 1-ranked squad familiarize themselves with our country ahead of next year’s World Cup, which will be co-hosted with Australia in July and August.
The United States will return to our shores six months later after being drawn alongside the Netherlands, Vietnam and the winner of the A playoffs in Group E – one of four New Zealand-based groups. .
They will face Vietnam and the winner of the qualifiers at Eden Park while the replay of the 2019 final against the Netherlands will take place at Sky Stadium.
With two matches in Auckland, it is understood that USA will look to base themselves in the City of Sails for the majority of their stay.
Confirmation of who will be based where is not expected until December.
The warm-up matches against the Football Ferns in January will be played outside an official Fifa window, which could impact the strength of the squad New Zealand coach Jitka Klimková is able to put together because the clubs will not be obliged to release players.
Much of the Football Ferns squad will be busy with A-League Women commitments at this time of year, including Betsy Hassett, Claudia Bunge, Katie Bowen, Hannah Wilkinson, Liz Anton, Malia Steinmetz and Paige Satchell .
Wellington Phoenix, who have five players in the current squad, more than any other club, are set to play five games in January, including three away to Australia.
USA, however, should be close to full strength as the vast majority of their players ply their trade in the NWSL, which ended last weekend.
The Football Ferns and USA have met 20 times before but have never faced each other on New Zealand soil.
The Ferns suffered a heavy 5-0 defeat in their last SheBelieves Cup encounter in February after Meikayla Moore conceded three own goals.
Klimková’s side are back in action this month, hosting South Korea in two matches in Christchurch on November 12 and 15.
These will be the Football Ferns’ first home games since June 2018.
New Zealand also played a match against Portugal in Hamilton on February 18 as the 10-team playoff tournament takes place to determine the final three World Cup qualifiers.