The U.S. women’s national team will hold a training camp in New Zealand and play two friendlies against the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup co-hosts in January, U.S. Soccer announced Wednesday.
Matches will take place on Jan. 17 at Sky Stadium in Wellington and Jan. 20 at Eden Park in Auckland at 10 p.m. ET, and will mark the first-ever matches played in New Zealand for the USWNT. Both venues will play host to the USWNT’s World Cup group matches next fall.
“Everything about this trip is a positive for our team ahead of the World Cup,” coach Vlatko Andonovski said in a release.
“We will get some quality training time together and have two tough matches against a great opponent that is hosting the World Cup. 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 USWNT is 17-1-1 all-time against the Football Ferns, with its lone loss coming in the teams’ first meeting in 1987, and most recently defeated New Zealand 5-0 in the 2022 SheBelieves Cup. New Zealand’s captain is Angel City FC defender Ali Riley and also features North Carolina Courage players Abby Erceg and Katie Bowen.
New Zealand is co-hosting next year’s Women’s World Cup with Australia, which will kick off on July 20 in Auckland and Sydney.
(Photo: Robert Mora / ISI Photos/ Getty Images)
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