USWNT to play two pre-World Cup friendlies in New Zealand

The US women’s soccer team kicks off the World Cup year with a six-day training camp and two friendlies in New Zealand in January, where they will open the defense of their World Cup in July.

The two games – on January 18 at Sky Stadium in Wellington and on January 21 at Eden Park in Auckland, site of the US World Cup opener – will be the USWNT’s first games in New Zealand.

During the World Cup, the USA will face Vietnam and a team being determined in a February playoff at Eden Park, pinched for a game against the Netherlands in Wellington.

“Everything about this trip is positive for our team ahead of the World Cup,” said coach Vlatko Andonovski. “We will have a good practice time together and have two tough games against a great opponent who are hosting the World Cup. We also experience the long journeys and get to know the venues, the stadiums, the training grounds and the culture. And hopefully we’ll play in front of a big crowd and support the home team.

“It will be a great start to the new year.”

The USWNT has played New Zealand 19 times – 17-1-1, but none of those games took place in New Zealand.

New Zealand are coached by former USA U20 women’s national team coach Jitka Klimkova and captained by Pacific Palisades native Ali Riley who plays with Angel City in the NWSL.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/soccer/story/2022-11-02/uswnt-to-play-pre-world-cup-friendlies-in-new-zealand USWNT to play two pre-World Cup friendlies in New Zealand

Emma Bowman

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