The U.S. women’s national team will hold its traditional January training camp in New Zealand and play a pair of exhibition games against the island country’s national team.
Both teams are preparing for next summer’s World Cup, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand. The U.S. women have won the last two World Cups, and four overall.
The matches against New Zealand are scheduled for Jan. 18 in Wellington and Jan. 21 in Auckland. The games will take place in the two stadiums that the United States will visit during the group stage of the World Cup.
”We will get some quality training time together and have two tough matches against a great opponent that is hosting the World Cup,” U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski said in a statement on Wednesday. ”We also get to experience the long travel and familiarize ourselves with the host cities, the stadiums, the training grounds and the culture, and hopefully we’ll play in front of some big crowds supporting the home team. It will be a great way to start the year.”
The U.S., No. 1 in the FIFA rankings, finishes the year with matches against Germany on Nov. 10 at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and on Nov. 13 at Harrison, New Jersey. Its current two-game skid is its first in 5 1/2 years.
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