The All Whites coach, Ricki Herbert, has called up 23 players for the playoff matches against Mexico to be held on November 13 and 20. The 23-man roster contains 8 players that play in Europe, the rest either play in the Australian league, the domestic league, or are unattached.
Here is the New Zealand roster:
Glen Moss (Wellington Phoenix)
Jacob Spoonley (Wellington Phoenix)
Tamati Williams (Auckland City FC – New Zealand)
Andrew Durante (Wellington Phoenix)
Tony Lochhead (Unattached)
Winston Reid – Capitán (West Ham – England)
Storm Roux (Central Coast Mariners – Australia)
Ben Sigmund (Wellington Phoenix)
Tommy Smith (Ipswich Town FC – England)
Bill Tuiloma (Olympique de Marsella – France)
Ivan Vicelich (Auckland City FC – New Zealand)
Leo Bertos (Wellington Phoenix)
Aaron Clapham (Canterbury United)
Jeremy Christie (Unattached)
Craig Henderson (Mjallby Aif – Sweeden)
Chris James (Kuopion Palloseura – Finland)
Michael Mcglinchey (Central Coast Mariners – Australia)
Kosta Barbarouses (Melbourne Victory – Australia)
Jeremy Brockie (Wellington Phoenix)
Rory Fallon (St. Johnstone – Scotland)
Marco Rojas (Vfb Stuttgart – Germany)
Shane Smeltz (Perth Glory – Australia)
Chris Wood (Leicester City FC – England)
It is important to note, that Winston Reid, arguably New Zealand’s best player, will be out injured for both matches against Mexico.
The New Zealand roster, to put it plainly, is quite modest, and the team will have to rely on strong defensive work and general teamwork in order to overcome the difficult challenge that Mexico represents. Although New Zealand is a huge underdog for the intercontinental playoff, we can’t count them out yet, Mexico has had a terrible qualifying campaign, and anything could happen. Look for New Zealand to park the bus in Mexico City in order to try and salvage a scoreless draw, or lose by a one goal margin only.
P.S. The All Whites will have to wear their alternative black uniform. Mexico has chosen to use white shorts, meaning New Zealand will not be able to wear the traditional all white uniform. This could potentially make things a bit more difficult for New Zealand, as the game is schedule for the middle of the afternoon.