WC Intercontinental Playoff vs Costa Rica | Tue 14th June (15th NZT) | 9pm (6am NZT)

Legend
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Wade responded to an email I sent him recently.

And AWs team manager (since left NZF) in 2017 for away leg in Peru, was really friendly and helpful.
https://www.nzfootball.co.nz/ABOUT-US/Who-we-are/Contacts-1
Legend
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ex coach Huddo helping Hay scout the Costa Ricans.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/road-to-doha-the-coach-assisting-the-all-whites-world-cup-surveillance-mission/FM2I6MB6YVIVVTYEVLZLLD7UMU/


Marquee
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Paywalled but sounds very interesting! 
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Ooops misread that the first time, thought Hudson was giving the Costa Ricans the Dirt on us!
 
"After exchanging messages in recent weeks, Hudson had an extended meeting with Danny Hay and Bazeley over Zoom early last week, sharing his insights on the Central American team.

"We want to make sure we know them inside out," said Bazeley. "So we can give the players as much detail as possible, about what they are going to come up against." "

Legend
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Maaaaaaatt
Ooops misread that the first time, thought Hudson was giving the Costa Ricans the Dirt on us!
 
"After exchanging messages in recent weeks, Hudson had an extended meeting with Danny Hay and Bazeley over Zoom early last week, sharing his insights on the Central American team.

"We want to make sure we know them inside out," said Bazeley. "So we can give the players as much detail as possible, about what they are going to come up against." "


Yes he's an assistant to USA head coach Gregg Berhalter. Certainly that's what he's telling us on his Wiki page anyways!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Hudson_(soccer)

But good to see old Huddo, helping out his successor. John Herdman would also be worth a phone call, I would have thought.

Legend
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newzealandpower
Paywalled but sounds very interesting! 

Sorry very mangled (been through Google Translate it seems), but Burgess's Road to Doha column off some overseas website. Actually it might be an older article of the same series, not most recent one.

Sarpreet Singh is racing the clock to be match for the June showdown with Costa Rica – and the indicators are usually not promising. The 23-year-old German-based midfielder has been managing a groin harm for a number of months and missed the Oceania World Cup qualifying match final month. ”He’s nonetheless combating that harm,” All Whites coach Danny Hay instructed the Herald. Hay mentioned that Singh would not characteristic once more for Jahn Regensburg within the Bundesliga 2 this season and is anticipated to journey again to New Zealand “throughout the subsequent week or two”.

”He’s going to work actually carefully with our medical crew every day, to present him the most effective probability doable,” mentioned Hay.” He’s nonetheless feeling actual ache they usually have not been capable of unravel the trigger. Hopefully our medical crew can and we are able to get him to some extent the place he can contribute to the extent the place we all know he can, although we cannot be capable to take him if he’s solely 70 or 80 per cent match.”

The absence of Singh can be a substantial blow. New Zealand has constructed good depth in midfield however Singh’s artistic means and imaginative and prescient presents some extent of distinction that might be important towards a powerful defensive unit like Costa Rica.

The administration of Singh’s harm at his membership has been laborious to grasp, with the Kiwi taking the sector twice within the final month, regardless of the continuing criticism, which seems to have aggravated the harm. He had 25 minutes off the bench on March 20, earlier than lasting 61 minutes towards Hannover on April 4. Privately, NZF are mentioned to be extraordinarily disenchanted.

Peru followers to take over Barcelona? The All Whites might face an enormous Peruvian crowd of their worldwide match towards the Andean crew in Barcelona in June. Whereas there may be prone to be a smattering of Kiwis expatriates, the Espanyol stadium might be a sea of purple and white. Peruvians are fanatical supporters of their nationwide crew and are anticipated to converge from throughout Europe – and possibly additional – for the sport. There’s additionally a big expatriate Peruvian group in Spain of greater than 100,000, solely exceeded by Colombia and Venezuela amongst South American nations. It will likely be a singular expertise for the All Whites, who have not performed in entrance of a big crowd for the reason that sport towards the Republic of Eire in Dublin in November 2019.

Clayton Lewis on the mend? There are constructive indicators for All Whites midfielder Clayton Lewis, after his terrible ankle harm suffered final month. He’s out of his moon boot and is anticipated to start out gentle working subsequent week. The 25-year-old is barely forward of schedule in his restoration and will but make a return for his membership this season, relying on their progress. 

Hay ponders prolonged squad. Hay is contemplating utilizing a squad of as much as 26 gamers when the All Whites assemble in Spain subsequent month. Whereas Hay will solely be capable to identify 23 for the Costa Rica conflict, he could choose to have further gamers (to supply competitors and canopy) through the build-up.

Stat of the week. As you’d count on, success has been scarce for the All Whites towards groups from the highly effective South American confederation. Throughout 17 makes an attempt, New Zealand has by no means managed to defeat a crew from the continent. There have been 4 attracts, towards Uruguay (2-2, 1995), Chile (0-0, 1998), Paraguay (0-0, 2010) and the World Cup qualifying encounter versus Peru in Wellington in 2017 (0-0).

From the historical past files. New Zealand’s first try to qualify for a Fifa males’s World Cup got here in 1969. The All Whites have been drawn with North Korea and Israel in an Asia/Oceania group, although the communist state have been eradicated for refusing to play Israel. Bizarrely, each matches have been staged in Tel Aviv – attributable to price concerns – and the All Whites misplaced 4-0 and 2-0 in entrance of huge partisan crowds. Israel certified for the match in Brazil, beating Australia 2-1 on mixture in a house and away sequence.
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In today’s column Burgess claims Rojas is set to be back in the 26-man All Whites squad when it’s named on Tuesday. Also mentions it’ll be three games, though I can’t remember any confirmation this side of who the middle game will be, but the Iranians think it’s them. 

A few faces will of course miss out from who went to Qatar, given that was 30 players in total, without Michael Boxall, Rojas or Singh, plus any more-left field call ups like Oli Whyte or Elliot Collier. Gould, Old, Waine, Searle, Howieson, Ingham, Nikko Boxall, Wilkins probably all at risk.
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In today’s column Burgess claims Rojas is set to be back in the 26-man All Whites squad when it’s named on Tuesday. Also mentions it’ll be three games, though I can’t remember any confirmation this side of who the middle game will be, but the Iranians think it’s them. 

A few faces will of course miss out from who went to Qatar, given that was 30 players in total, without Michael Boxall, Rojas or Singh, plus any more-left field call ups like Oli Whyte or Elliot Collier. Gould, Old, Waine, Searle, Howieson, Ingham, Nikko Boxall, Wilkins probably all at risk.

That’s good news especially if Singh is battling with his injury. If he’s out we’re gonna need all the creativity we can get.
WeeNix
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What are the odds of a hitherto unavailable player being selected? A la yer McGlincheys, yer Fallons, yer Reids and yer Smiths. 

I love the word "hitherto" but never used it in general conversation. 
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What are the odds of a hitherto unavailable player being selected? A la yer McGlincheys, yer Fallons, yer Reids and yer Smiths. 

I love the word "hitherto" but never used it in general conversation. 

At this such late stage, pre the playoff, zero.

Between June (if AWs win playoff & qualify) and WC in Nov-Dec, some chance. Who knows who's out there with some Kiwi DNA.

More likely to crop up earlier now with the U20s, like happened with Stensness. Ever growing number of football playing kids in Aussie especially, with at least one Kiwi parent.

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Rusty Dunks
What are the odds of a hitherto unavailable player being selected? A la yer McGlincheys, yer Fallons, yer Reids and yer Smiths. 

I love the word "hitherto" but never used it in general conversation. 
Surely Danny caps the Onehunga made, Korean-Kiwi striker Lee Ho-Jae. He dominated the Korean University league (their equivalent to top level youth football) and now he’s playing for Pohang in the K-League 1. Hotter prospect than Waine and Greive but probably also some stiff competition from the Korean FA.
Legend
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This is him I presume?
https://us.soccerway.com/players/ho-jae-lee/691439/

2 goals in 18 games, is hardly yells out 'pick me'. I see he's yet to start a K League game.

And as for his Sth Korean national team prospects, there are probably 10-20 Korean youngsters in Europe, he'll have to get past to get there.
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Rusty Dunks
What are the odds of a hitherto unavailable player being selected? A la yer McGlincheys, yer Fallons, yer Reids and yer Smiths. 

I love the word "hitherto" but never used it in general conversation. 
 
Probably close to zero I’d say. If we make the WC then higher chance as it’d only be someone not good enough to play for their ‘home’ country, and that would be their best chance of playing at one. I guess Champness is that guy, just we already got him.

On the other hand, I'm pretty sure Sarpreet still isn’t cap-tied and is unlikely to play, so the chance he pulls an almighty switch and declares for India lives on. Would be kinda funny and not funny at the same time.
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coochiee
That’s right, I think there’s a thread about him somewhere in Kiwi Players Overseas
Legend
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No mention of using Juneof86's excellent summary. Secretive intel.

Expect to shout a few expletive ridden rants at the telly in June, as the Ticos fall over at the slightest touch. That stuff should hardly be a shock to Hay & Co, even without talking to Huddo & Herdman. Hopefully we get an experienced Euro ref wise to those antics.

Playing Peru will be a good simulation of the simulation! All starting to get real now. 4 weeks to go & counting.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/football/128623273/hudson-herdman-and-hours-of-video-how-the-all-whites-are-preparing-for-costa-rica

Two former national football team coaches have given the All Whites a helping hand with preparations for their one-off World Cup playoff against Costa Rica in June.

Current coach Danny Hay and his assistant Darren Bazeley have picked the brains of former coach Anthony Hudson and former Football Ferns coach John Herdman prior to their departure for Europe this week.

The pair have both come up against Los Ticos during qualifying in North and Central America and the Caribbean [Concacaf]. Hudson is an assistant with the United States, who have qualified for this year’s World Cup in Qatar after missing out in 2018, while Herdman is in charge of Canada, who have qualified for the first time since their first appearance in 1986.

Hay said he and Bazeley had been able to get some “really good insights” from Hudson and Herdman, who each faced Costa Rica twice. Their teams both had a win at home and a loss away.


“The insights from John Herdman and Anthony Hudson have been invaluable and confirmed a lot of the stuff that we've seen ourselves," Hay said.

Hay said one key lesson from the pair had been about how Costa Rica make their experience playing in high-stakes matches come to life on the pitch – “their ability to manage referees and win free kicks in dangerous areas”.

“It's like a lot of the Central American and South American sides – they know how to initiate contact and go down and win free kicks – soft free kicks.

“That's something we're going to have to be very wary of, because they're so dangerous at set piece time.”

...........
A 26-strong All Whites squad is set to be named on Tuesday morning and Hay and Bazeley are due to leave for Europe on Wednesday. The team will set up camp in Marbella in the south of Spain from next week, ahead of a friendly against Peru in Barcelona on June 6 [NZ time] and the playoff on neutral territory in Doha on June 15.

Legend
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Costa Rican 27 man squad below.
The big name, super experienced spine of their team is there
Navas, Duarte, Borges, Ruiz & Campbell. Though no Gamboa. They have a couple others out injured as well.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/football/128623273/hudson-herdman-and-hours-of-video-how-the-all-whites-are-preparing-for-costa-rica

Costa Rica coach Luis Fernando Suárez has named a 27-strong squad for the coming international window, where his side have a pair of Concacaf Nations League matches against Panama and Martinique before taking on the All Whites for a place at the World Cup.

Their schedule takes them first to Panama City for a match on June 3, then home to San Jose for a match on June 6, after which they will fly to Qatar, arriving around the same time as the All Whites.

Star goalkeeper Keylor Navas was not included in Costa Rica’s squad, but is set to join up with the team in Doha ahead of the playoff.

Both coaches will have to cut their squads down to 23 players on the day of the match, which is set to kick off at 9pm local time.

https://ticotimes.net/2022/05/14/costa-rica-soccer-team-squad-announced

Goalkeepers
Keylor Navas (New Zealand game only) (PSG-France)
Esteban Alvarado (Herediano) 
Leonel Moreira (Alajuelense) 
Aarón Cruz (Saprissa)

Defenders
Francisco Calvo (San Jose Earthquakes-USA)
Juan Pablo Vargas (Millonarios-Colombia)
Kendall Waston (Saprissa)
Óscar Duarte (Levante-Spain)
Daniel Chacón (Cartaginés)
Juan Luis Pérez (San Carlos)
Ricardo Blanco (Saprissa)
Carlos Martínez (San Carlos)
Bryan Oviedo (FC Copenhagen- Denmark) 
Ian Lawrence (Alajuelense) 
Keysher Fuller (Herediano) 

Midfielders
Celso Borges (Alajuelense)
Yeltsin Tejeda (Herediano)
Orlando Galo (Herediano)
Roan Wilson (Grecia)
Carlos Mora (Alajuelense)
Allen Guevara (Cartaginés)
Bryan Ruiz (Captain) (Alajuelense) 
Brandon Aguilera (Guanacasteca) 
Gerson Torres (Herediano) 
Jewison Bennette (Herediano)

Fowards
Joel Campbell (Monterrey-Mexico)
Anthony Contreras (Guanacasteca) 
Johan Venegas (Alajuelense)


Legend
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Good news Gamboa is out. Somewhat balances, no Singh & Thomas for AWs.
https://ticotimes.net/2022/05/14/costa-rica-soccer-team-squad-announced

Costa Rica national coach, Luis Fernando Suárez, has announced his 27 man squad for the Nations League double header against Panama and Martinique (on the 2nd and 5th of June, respectively) and the crunch World Cup play-off against New Zealand on June 14.

There are big surprises both in inclusion and exclusions. The call-up of veteran midfielder Allen Guevara for the first time in 9 years is certainly an eyebrow raiser, but also justice for an exceptional season with Cartaginés.

Furthermore, the call ups of uncapped duo Juan Luis Pérez and Roan Wilson is a big call by Suárez in such a critical period. 

Finally, defender Ricardo Blanco, injured in the January games, is also back in the group. 

In terms of absentees, the most significant omission is that of right back Cristian Gamboa. Despite having a stellar season at VfL Bochum in one of the top leagues in the world (Bundleslegia), the experienced defender has not been included in the squad due to missing the whole World Cup qualifying campaign with various injuries. 

Although Gamboa has been missing from the national team recently, his absence from the squad still comes as a great shock. As he’s proven repeatedly over the last 10 years and 79 caps that he’s a big game player with immense experience, which are essential skills needed for the play-off decider.

In his place is the relatively untested Carlos Martínez, who only has a couple of caps; it’s a considerable gamble for Luis Fernando Suárez to make, and it remains to be seen if it’s the correct one. 

Another surprise exclusion is that of midfielder Alonso Martínez, who has been a prominent member of the qualifying campaign. 

Meanwhile, defender Ronald Matarrita and striker José Guillermo Ortiz are unavailable due to injury. Particularly in the case of Matarrita, it’s a major loss, as he has made the left-back spot his own in recent months, thanks to some superb performances.

Those players summoned by the coach must go to the facilities of the FCRF-Plycem Sports Complex from this Monday, May 16, to start work, where they will train and prepare for 2 weeks.

Keylor Navas is the only player who will not be with the group from the start and will instead join after the Nations League matches. The PSG goalkeeper will arrive directly in Qatar in the second week of June to prepare for the play-off fixture. In addition, Luis Fernando Suárez will cut 5 players from the squad after the Nations League games, leaving a 22 man squad for the play-off against New Zealand.

Legend
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Gould as 3rd keeper! Surely if Marinovic or Sail got injured they would call in Woud (in season in Japan) to fly over onto the bench??

Missing from 30 players used in OFC Tourney - Searle, N Boxall, Wilkins, Howieson, Old & De Jong.

In come M Boxall & Rojas - who is listed as a midfielder.
 
https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/football/128651258/no-sarpreet-singh-as-all-whites-squad-named-for-world-cup-playoff-against-costa-rica

All Whites – warm-up match and World Cup playoff
Squad

Goalkeepers: Matthew Gould, Stefan Marinovic, Oli Sail

Defenders: Michael Boxall, Liberato Cacace, Francis de Vries, Dane Ingham, Niko Kirwan, Tim Payne, Nando Pijnaker, Winston Reid, Tommy Smith, Bill Tuiloma

Midfielders: Joe Bell, Matt Garbett, Elijah Just, Clayton Lewis, Marco Rojas, Marko Stamenic

Forwards: Kosta Barbarouses, Joey Champness, Alex Greive, Callum McCowatt, Logan Rogerson, Ben Waine, Chris Wood

Fixtures (NZ time)
Monday, June 6, 3.30am: v Peru; RCDE Stadium, Barcelona, Spain
Friday, June 9, TBC: v TBC; Doha
Wednesday, June 14, 6am: v Costa Rica; Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Doha, Qatar

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Based on the squad announcement this morning, here's how I think we line up in a 5-3-2 or a 4-2-3-1. I think the 5-3-2 is a stronger lineup for a one off match.

I think Waine, Rogerson and Ingham are the three to drop out of the 26.
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Stamenic ahead of Garbett. Otherwise concur. Pretty sure Hay will go 5-3-2 to start the game.

Though he showed some courage against Japan in that Olympics QF, to switch it up in the 2nd half when Reid came off for McCowatt.
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Very predictable squad of 26 seeing as Singh and Thomas are out. Matthew Gould is the only one I raised an eyebrow to, was expecting Woud; not a great look when daddy is in the coaching sqaud.
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Very predictable squad of 26 seeing as Singh and Thomas are out. Matthew Gould is the only one I raised an eyebrow to, was expecting Woud; not a great look when daddy is in the coaching sqaud.

Can only presume it was decided that Woud stay in Japan, and continue to work away at his club. Is an important juncture in his career, and normally the 3rd choice keeper is just there to make up numbers. J League of course being in season.

As for Tzanev, looks like you still need to be vaccinated to enter Qatar, though info on this link is a bit grey/contradictory.
https://www.ivisa.com/qatar-blog/qatar-vaccination-requirements-do-i-need-a-vaccine-to-travel-to-qatar

Be a lot of pressure on Qatar Govt to relax that vaccine requirement come Nov-Dec!
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That’s an interesting squad. No shocks, but a few surprises. Much like the author of that article, I am surprised no recall for right back Cristian Gamboa now that he’s healthy, but there is a return for right back Ricardo Blanco. I would think Blanco will be preferred to the erratic Keysher Fuller. Right back Carlos Martinez and left back Ian Lawrence both got their first call-ups in the final qualifying window and they both started the win against the U.S. Lawrence is 19 and C. Martinez is 23. I wasn’t sure they’d be called in, but they are. 

None of the mid-20s MLS midfielders earned a call-up, but uncapped 18-year-old midfielder Brandon Aguillera and 20-year-old mid Roan Wilson are both called in. I am guessing they aren’t going to make the final 23 and are there for camp experience, but that still surprises me. Similarly, 21-year-old right winger Carlos Mora started against the U.S. for his only cap and stays in the squad. 

That means there’s no place for Alonso Martinez who played in six straight Costa Rica qualifiers in the run-in, starting four of them, as the Ticos went undefeated. I think he lost his place to Allen Guevara which is a heck of a call. Guevara is 33 and didn’t have much of a prime in his prime. If he’s in good club form, I guess why not? His last cap was a B friendly against Canada. He has only played in one World Cup qualifier, a preliminary round match against Guyana. 

I am also quite surprised no one was called in to replace Jose Guillermo Ortiz. I think that increases the odds that Campbell plays up front. Johan Venegas isn’t really a forward, he’s more of an attacking winger, so they don’t really have a lot of options off the bench, particularly given the potential for it to be pretty warm. Marco Urena with Central Coast is still only 32 and scoring some in the A League. 

BTW Venegas (if he plays) is the worst of their divers. They’re not as bad as a lot of Central American sides to be honest, but they have some players who love to draw a call. 

Out of the group of 28, Costa Rica has 13 players over 30 and nine players under 23. They have so few players in their prime. I am curious how much they blend that youth and experience in the playoff. 

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Very predictable squad of 26 seeing as Singh and Thomas are out. Matthew Gould is the only one I raised an eyebrow to, was expecting Woud; not a great look when daddy is in the coaching sqaud.

With Tzanev being a non-vaxxer, would have thought Crocombe would get the nod? Unless him being involved in Grimsby's play-offs overlaps with the WC match.
Appiah without the pace
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siac
Very predictable squad of 26 seeing as Singh and Thomas are out. Matthew Gould is the only one I raised an eyebrow to, was expecting Woud; not a great look when daddy is in the coaching sqaud.

Can only presume it was decided that Woud stay in Japan, and continue to work away at his club. Is an important juncture in his career, and normally the 3rd choice keeper is just there to make up numbers. J League of course being in season.

As for Tzanev, looks like you still need to be vaccinated to enter Qatar, though info on this link is a bit grey/contradictory.
https://www.ivisa.com/qatar-blog/qatar-vaccination-requirements-do-i-need-a-vaccine-to-travel-to-qatar

Be a lot of pressure on Qatar Govt to relax that vaccine requirement come Nov-Dec!
J-League breaks for the playoff window.
Legend
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Original Stuff article updated. With reasons for Woud’s exclusion noted.
Note most of the squad will assemble well before the FIFA window starts.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/football/128651258/sarpreet-singhs-absence-confirmed-as-all-whites-squad-named-for-world-cup-playoff

Senior players Marco Rojas and Michael Boxall have returned after missing the qualifiers largely due to the timing of them – they started outside the Fifa window where clubs must release players – making this the most experienced squad Hay has selected during his three-year tenure.

He pointed to forwards Andre de Jong and Elliot Collier as two players who had been tough omissions, with Logan Rogerson and Ben Waine – two of 11 players aged 23 or under – getting the nod to round out a long list of forward options.

Hay also explained the decision to go with
uncapped Matthew Gould as a third goalkeeper behind Oli Sail and Stefan Marinovic instead of Michael Woud, who started an All Whites match as recently as January.

“The No 3 goalkeeper is quite a unique position. I spoke to Michael for an hour last night. He fully understands that he's not a No 3 – he'd class himself as a No 1 or even a No 2.

“The No 3 needs to be a really selfless individual. They need to be at times a bit of cannon fodder, if somebody like Chris Wood wants to do a little bit of finishing. They've got to be a major supporter of the other two goalkeepers as well. And they need to be top quality as well, because they need to be putting the other two under a bit of pressure.

“I think Matt Gould encapsulates all those qualities, so he's the perfect person to have in there.

“Michael has got a massive future – he knows that and I know that. Yes, he's had some moments, some public moments, that he's got over, and I think if you look at the Olympics and the way he performed after having that little bit of a setback against Honduras, I think we all know that he's going to be world-class.”
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Based on the squad announcement this morning, here's how I think we line up in a 5-3-2 or a 4-2-3-1. I think the 5-3-2 is a stronger lineup for a one off match.

I think Waine, Rogerson and Ingham are the three to drop out of the 26.
I think that's a very competitive starting line up for both formations. And would be absolutely thrilled to see those respective XI's take the park. I think Stamenic probably pips Garbett in the absence of Sarpreet's creativity come game day but also don't think Garbett has put a foot wrong any time he's worn the fern, and I don't think the side is weakened at all depending on which of either two are on the park. 

Definitely a strong attack, and I'm pleased about Rojas' inclusion. On paper this is definitely a squad I believe has the ability to send New Zealand all the way to Qatar in November


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We look solid at the back (REID, BOXALL,TUILOMA, CACACE etc) and in the midfield with BELL and STANEMIC. Our weakness is our creativity further up the park, against against quality opposition. I just hope we can create enough for WOOD to put one away.

The losses of Singh and Thomas are huge. The next options are just not anywhere near the same level and don't have a lot of top level of experience (yet). 

We have such a young squad there, a lot of potential! What ever happens in the next few months, we are all good for the next decade!

This is going to be exciting! I'm 100% behind them. 

Side note, what ever happened to S Roux? He's playing for a decent CCM side.


Rock Hopper
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Based on the squad announcement this morning, here's how I think we line up in a 5-3-2 or a 4-2-3-1. I think the 5-3-2 is a stronger lineup for a one off match.

I think Waine, Rogerson and Ingham are the three to drop out of the 26.
I think that's a very competitive starting line up for both formations. And would be absolutely thrilled to see those respective XI's take the park. I think Stamenic probably pips Garbett in the absence of Sarpreet's creativity come game day but also don't think Garbett has put a foot wrong any time he's worn the fern, and I don't think the side is weakened at all depending on which of either two are on the park. 

Definitely a strong attack, and I'm pleased about Rojas' inclusion. On paper this is definitely a squad I believe has the ability to send New Zealand all the way to Qatar in November


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Elemenop
We look solid at the back (REID, BOXALL,TUILOMA, CACACE etc) and in the midfield with BELL and STANEMIC. Our weakness is our creativity further up the park, against against quality opposition. I just hope we can create enough for WOOD to put one away.

The losses of Singh and Thomas are huge. The next options are just not anywhere near the same level and don't have a lot of top level of experience (yet). 

We have such a young squad there, a lot of potential! What ever happens in the next few months, we are all good for the next decade!

This is going to be exciting! I'm 100% behind them. 

Side note, what ever happened to S Roux? He's playing for a decent CCM side.


Rock Hopper
Maaaaaaatt
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Based on the squad announcement this morning, here's how I think we line up in a 5-3-2 or a 4-2-3-1. I think the 5-3-2 is a stronger lineup for a one off match.

I think Waine, Rogerson and Ingham are the three to drop out of the 26.
I think that's a very competitive starting line up for both formations. And would be absolutely thrilled to see those respective XI's take the park. I think Stamenic probably pips Garbett in the absence of Sarpreet's creativity come game day but also don't think Garbett has put a foot wrong any time he's worn the fern, and I don't think the side is weakened at all depending on which of either two are on the park. 

Definitely a strong attack, and I'm pleased about Rojas' inclusion. On paper this is definitely a squad I believe has the ability to send New Zealand all the way to Qatar in November


Roux’s not a nailed on starter at the Mariners anymore. The likes of Payne, Kirwan, Libby, de Vries and Sutton have all eclipsed him. I’d say he’s still on the same level as Ingham, Elliot, Wilkins and Kalua etc though.
Marquee
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The only point I want to make is that, in a twisted way, it's probably been better NOT to have had Thomas and Singh in recent times so that Hay had a chance to try different players and combinations. It would have been even worse for those two to to have featured right up until now and then being out for the big game.
Of course I would prefer them both to be fully fit, but I feel this way we're better prepared to do without them.
Other than that, it's a good squad. It's going to be an interesting few weeks leading up to the play off. 
Legend
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newzealandpower
The only point I want to make is that, in a twisted way, it's probably been better NOT to have had Thomas and Singh in recent times so that Hay had a chance to try different players and combinations. It would have been even worse for those two to to have featured right up until now and then being out for the big game.
Of course I would prefer them both to be fully fit, but I feel this way we're better prepared to do without them.
Other than that, it's a good squad. It's going to be an interesting few weeks leading up to the play off. 

Yipe different to 2013 when from memory Reid was a near last minute withdrawl before playing at the Azteca, removing the team of their talisman.

Was also a massive blow Wood not being able to start in 2017 verus Peru. No one knew how bad his hammy injury was, until the AWs ran out at the ROF.

Yes Hay's had plenty of time to plan not having either of Singh & Thomas.
 
Is a bugger though that Rojas has not been involved until now. Plus if VUC make the grand final he’ll be late joining the training camp in Spain. Major negatives that will reduce his chances of fitting into the team patterns quickly, and may even limit him to a bench role come the playoff. He’s never played with Stamenic or Garbett before and just once with likes of Bell, McCowatt & Just.

Barba would have some time with those guys back in March at least
Np
Trialist
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We're going to need to come out firing.
Some decent attacking options, but I still think our defense is shaky.

I would put out..

Just Wood Rojas
Stamenic
Lewis  Bell 
Cacace Pijnaker Reid Kirwan
Sail

Lewis and Bell to secure the midfield, Stamenic with a pivotal attacking mid role.
Wingers will need to keep busy all night helping in the midfield, and providing space and service for Wood.

Garbett, Champness and Grieve to add energy in the second half, Payne if fresh legs are needed in defense

Phoenix Academy
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330
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over 4 years
Np
We're going to need to come out firing.
Some decent attacking options, but I still think our defense is shaky.

I would put out..

Just Wood Rojas
Stamenic
Lewis  Bell 
Cacace Pijnaker Reid Kirwan
Sail

Lewis and Bell to secure the midfield, Stamenic with a pivotal attacking mid role.
Wingers will need to keep busy all night helping in the midfield, and providing space and service for Wood.

Garbett, Champness and Grieve to add energy in the second half, Payne if fresh legs are needed in defense

I think you’ve got to start Tuiloma - whether that be as Reid’s partner or in a back 3 - he’s in career best form and is an absolute weapon during set pieces.
Legend
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Storm Roux scored more goals in the finals series than the Nix! Central Coast seem like a team on the make. I was wondering when I saw that if that might affect his AW stock. It’s hard to know exactly where he’s at, but he’s more experienced than Elliot and a few others.
Starting XI
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I would like to see the following set up.

                        Sail
           Tuiloma Reid Boxall
Payne                                    Cacace
                 Bell    Stamenic
                      Garbett
Rojas              Wood           Grieve

I think you have to put Tuiloma in the back - they are a great set piece side so we need to be as strong as possible as set pieces, plus he is a great attacking option and has a good free kick on him.

Bell Stamenic and Garbett up top of the three. Hard on Lewis, but has not played well for NZ recently. The named trio when together have gelled well and link up nicely so keep this happening.

Wood up top is obvious. Grieve and Rojas I have chosen to partner him due to their mobility and ability to draw a foul, to working in spaces. Costa Rica are a big squad, so using that against them is important. A lot will come down to whether or not we can pick out their runs.

McCowatt's touch is a little too heavy for me, so he misses out. Just is a little light physically for me (Grieve will be hardened from playing in Scotland). Champness, Waine and Rogerson won't make the final squad.
Starting XI
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No one has talked about those that have missed out... but of all the players, I think Nikko Boxall might be the unluckiest. I thought he was v good in his last two games for NZ and did everything he could have to get him in the squad.
WeeNix
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MetalLegNZ
I would like to see the following set up.

                        Sail
           Tuiloma Reid Boxall
Payne                                    Cacace
                 Bell    Stamenic
                      Garbett
Rojas              Wood           Grieve

I think you have to put Tuiloma in the back - they are a great set piece side so we need to be as strong as possible as set pieces, plus he is a great attacking option and has a good free kick on him.

Bell Stamenic and Garbett up top of the three. Hard on Lewis, but has not played well for NZ recently. The named trio when together have gelled well and link up nicely so keep this happening.

Wood up top is obvious. Grieve and Rojas I have chosen to partner him due to their mobility and ability to draw a foul, to working in spaces. Costa Rica are a big squad, so using that against them is important. A lot will come down to whether or not we can pick out their runs.

McCowatt's touch is a little too heavy for me, so he misses out. Just is a little light physically for me (Grieve will be hardened from playing in Scotland). Champness, Waine and Rogerson won't make the final squad.
 
I wouldn’t mind that either, but FIFA/Costa Rica might given that’s 12 players
and 8 others
First Team Squad
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I haven't been that convinced by Payne at the Nix lately. Smith also isn't someone Hay likes to drop, it wouldn't shock me if he plays Smith and moves Bill to the right. Bill played there in one of the OFC games. Didn't make many runs but from memory apparently Hay had told him not to since he wasn't match fit at the time. 
Phoenix Academy
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87556118-739F-4A47-92B4-4C3898D1A12D.png 679.71 KB
Payne starts if you want to go more defensive, Pijnaker (on the left) over Boxall if we need the passing ability out the back. I’ve got Sail over Marinovic on form but you could make a good case for Stefan to start based on his experience and familiarity with the backline. Oppositely to Sail, I’ve got Barba starting based on experience but his form has been poor this season so I could easily be convinced that Greive or Just should be in his spot. I guess that mainly comes down to if you want three forwards, two forwards and an AM behind them, or Wood up top with two AM’s and no wingers.

WC Intercontinental Playoff vs Costa Rica | Tue 14th June (15th NZT) | 9pm (6am NZT)

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