By KEVIN KOCZWARA
Columbus Crew stadium will be the sight of another U.S. National Team game this year.
This time, though, the U.S. Women’s National Team will invade Columbus and hope the home field advantage that has lifted the U.S. Men’s National Team team in recent years will help them beat New Zealand in an Oct. 30 friendly. The match is part of a two-game series with the Kiwis. The first game will be played at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on Oct. 27.
The last time the U.S. and New Zealand played was in a 2012 Olympics quarterfinal. The U.S. won, 2-0, in Newcastle, England, thanks to goals from Abby Wambach and Sydney Leroux.
“New Zealand is a much-improved side over the past few years,” said U.S. head coach Tom Sermanni in a statement. “Qualifying for World Cups and Olympics have helped them significantly and now they are a very composed and competitive team that plays with a great deal of confidence.”
Sermanni saw plenty of the Kiwis during his two stints as head coach of Australia and will know what to expect from them.
The U.S. Women will play their first ever game at Candlestick Park and in San Francisco during the team’s 28-year history. The last time the women played in the Bay Area was 2007, when the U.S. beat Japan, 4-1, at Spartan Stadium in San Jose.
The U.S. Women last played at Columbus Crew Stadium in 2011, beating Japan, 2-0. The They are 4-1-0 all-time at Crew Stadium.
The U.S. is ranked No. 1 in the latest FIFA Women’s World Rankings and is 10-0-2 in 2013. They have scored 43 goals and allowed just eight so far this year.
New Zealand is ranked 19th in the world and should qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup when it hosts the Oceania qualifying competition in September 2014.
Before they play New Zealand, the Americans will play Australia in San Antonio, Texas, on Sunday, Oct. 20.
What do you think of the U.S. Women’s National Team’s double header with New Zealand? What do you think about San Francisco hosting one of the matches?
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