December 21, 2011
New Zealand to play U.S. women
CHICAGO - The U.S. Women's National Team will face New Zealand on Feb. 11 at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Texas, in a meeting between two teams that made emotional runs at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. The match will kick off at 4 p.m. ET.
|Heather O'Reilly was one of four goal scorers the last time the U.S. faced New Zealand
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The USA advanced to the championship game this past summer in Germany before falling in penalty kicks to Japan, while New Zealand had its best-ever showing in a world championship despite going out in the first round. The Kiwis lost by 2-1 scores to both Japan and England and tied Mexico 2-2 by scoring two goals in the dying minutes to earn their first-ever Women's World Cup point.
The match will mark the USA's first game in Texas since May of 2007, when the Americans hammered Canada 6-2 in Frisco in the first-ever appearance for the U.S. women at the home of Major League Soccer's FC Dallas, which is losing its Pizza Hut sponsorship at the end of the year. This will be the USA's eighth overall match in Texas, which has long been a state known for producing top female players. The USA is undefeated in Texas, having won all seven previous matches.
The week-long camp in Frisco and the match will serve as a warm-up for the annual Algarve Cup in Portugal, which will be held from Feb. 29-March 7 this year. The USA will leave for Europe about 10 days after facing New Zealand.
New Zealand is a favorite to earn Oceania's lone berth to the 2012 Olympics once qualifying commences in the smallest of FIFA's six Confederations.
The match will be the ninth meeting between the countries, with the U.S. holding a 7-1-0 series edge. After a loss to New Zealand in Taiwan in 1987, the U.S. won the next seven games in matchups that featured an average of five goals per game. The last meeting came at the 2008 Olympic Games, with Heather O'Reilly, Carli Lloyd, Lindsay Tarpley and Angela Hucles scoring in a 4-0 win in the final group match of that tournament.