The New Zealand men’s national soccer team has made two appearances at FIFA World Cup. Their latest appearance came at the 2010 edition held in South Africa. In the qualification process, the New Zealand 2010 World Cup nation had to win the 2008 OFC Nations Cup to win the right to face Bahrain in a two-legged playoff.
The Kiwis managed a goalless draw in the away leg. In the home leg, Rory Fallon scored to claim a 1-0 win and earn his nation the right to participate in soccer’s most significant event following a gap of 28 years.
The All Whites were grouped with the likes of Paraguay, Slovakia, and Italy in Group F in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. However, the Oceanic country was one of the biggest underdogs at the World Cup, and not many backed them to achieve anything in the group.
The New Zealand national soccer team, known as the All Whites, made history at the 2010 FIFA World Cup by remaining undefeated throughout the tournament, despite not securing a win.
This feat was accomplished by holding their opponents to three draws, with goals scored by Winston Reid and Shane Smeltz. Although they were eliminated in the group stage, they were hailed as heroes in their home country, and their performance at the World Cup helped to boost the popularity of soccer in New Zealand, where it had previously been overshadowed by rugby union and netball.
The All Whites concluded their campaign by finishing third in their group and being one of the few teams remaining unbeaten in the tournament.
New Zealand Goalkeepers
Date of Birth: 19 January 1983
Height: 188 cm
Shirt number: 12
First international: New Zealand – Malaysia (23 February 2006)
Glen Moss is an accomplished and reliable goalkeeper who provides a solid last line of defense for both club and country. Glen Moss gained his first international recognition when called up to the squad for a match against Australia in June 2005.
However, he didn’t earn his first cap until a 1-0 win over Malaysia in February the following year. 
Since earning his first cap, Moss has dueled for the No1 jersey at both domestic and international levels with Mark Paston.
At the start of last season, the 27-year-old departed Wellington Phoenix, where Paston was primarily the incumbent and joined A-League champions Melbourne Victory. However, after a solid start, Moss lost his place in the starting line-up to Australian teenage prodigy Mitchell Langerak.
He played all three games at the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009, stringing together impressive displays, including a well-earned clean sheet in the historic 0-0 draw with Iraq, which gave New Zealand their first point at a senior FIFA tournament.
In addition, Moss earned some much-needed game time in March’s friendly defeat against Mexico and Melbourne’s AFC Champions League run.
Moss initially came to international prominence by pulling off a string of impressive saves in a player of the match display against Brazil in a friendly match just before the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Since then, he has appeared in two of New Zealand’s 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against New Caledonia and Fiji, with the last match ending in disappointment after being sent off.
He will also be unavailable for New Zealand’s first two group matches, and his selection despite the suspension is a testament to the high regard in which Coach Ricki Herbert holds Moss.
Date of Birth: 30 June 1975
Height: 195 cm
Shirt number: 23
First international: New Zealand – Cook Islands (8 June 2001)
Date of Birth: 13 December 1976
Height: 195 cm
Shirt number: 1
First international: Indonesia – New Zealand (21 September 1997)
New Zealand Defenders
Date of Birth: 3 February 1981
Height: 187 cm
Shirt number: 2
First international: Oman – New Zealand (17 August 2000)
Ben Sigmund, a rugged central defender, had a circuitous route to becoming a mainstay on the New Zealand national soccer team. Despite making his debut a decade ago, Sigmund did not become a regular player until 2007.
He captained the team in their final 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Fiji. Sigmund was one of only two players participating in all six of New Zealand’s 2010 FIFA World Cup Oceania zone qualifiers and logged the most minutes on the field. He also served as vice-captain on several occasions.
Sigmund had a successful stint in the New Zealand Football Championship with Auckland City, winning the league’s player of the year award in 2008, before making the jump to professional soccer with Wellington Phoenix.
He quickly established himself as a key player and helped the team achieve their first-ever A-League finals berth. Despite undergoing hip surgery in 2009, Sigmund recovered quickly and returned to the national team for the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009.
Ben played a critical role in helping the team earn a 0-0 draw against Bahrain in the first leg of the South Africa 2010 World Cup playoff and gave an equally impressive performance in the second leg in Wellington.
Date of Birth: 12 January 1982
Height: 183 cm
Shirt number: 3
First international: Iran – New Zealand (12 October 2003)
Date of Birth: 3 July 1988
Height: 190 cm
Shirt number: 4
Winston Reid, the youngest addition to the All-Whites squad, only made his availability known in March of 2010. Born in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1988, Reid has a unique background, with a Maori middle name, “Wiremu.”
He moved abroad at age 10 with his mother and Danish stepfather, where he began his professional career at 15 with Denmark Super League club FC Midtjylland.
Despite his young age, Reid is a vital team member, boasting over 100 appearances for the club, including in the UEFA Cup, and has even played for Denmark’s national youth teams, including the U-21 team.
With his tall, strong, athletic build and technical skill, Reid is a formidable force on the field. As a consistent contributor to Midtjylland’s success, Reid’s addition to the All Whites squad brings a much-needed boost to their defense, which has been prone to injury and unavailability.
Date of Birth: 3 September 1976
Height: 193 cm
Shirt number: 5
First international: Uruguay – New Zealand (25 June 1995)
Date of Birth: 18 October 1977
Height: 185 cm
Shirt number: 6
First international: Poland – New Zealand (19-06-1999)
Ryan Nelsen, the national team captain, and defensive powerhouse, is undoubtedly one of New Zealand’s most recognizable and accomplished footballers.
With six years under his belt at Blackburn Rovers and a contract extension until 2012, the mobile central defender has long been a fan favorite at Ewood Park. Despite injury and club commitments limiting his appearances for the All Whites, Nelsen has made a significant impact on the international stage.
He missed four years of national team play leading up to 2008 but made up for the lost time by participating as an overage player in the Beijing Olympics.
In 2007, he became the only New Zealander to feature in an FA Cup final, playing for Blackburn Rovers against Chelsea, though they ultimately lost in extra time. Nelsen is one of only five New Zealanders to have played in the English Premier League, alongside Simon Elliott and Chris Wood.
His 150 matches for Blackburn have been impressive, despite a severe hamstring injury that kept him out for nearly a season. A natural leader and organizer on the field, Nelsen’s skills cannot be understated.
Despite not scoring many goals at the club level, he has made a mark for the All Whites, scoring several goals in World Cup qualifiers and being a threat at set pieces.
Prior to joining Blackburn, Nelsen had a successful four-year stint with MLS side DC United, where he was named to the league XI twice and captained the team to their fourth MLS Cup.
His career highlight as a captain of the national team was leading New Zealand to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup for the first time in 28 years through a playoff against Bahrain. In South Africa, Nelsen will join Steve Sumner as the only player to lead the All Whites at a FIFA World Cup.
Date of Birth: 18 September 1983
Height: 192 cm
Shirt number: 18
First international: Wales – New Zealand (26 May 2007)
Date of Birth: 31 March 1990
Height: 187 cm
Shirt number: 19
First international: New Zealand – Mexico (3 March 2010)
Another late addition to the New Zealand squad, the England youth international debuted at the fullback soccer position for New Zealand in the friendly against Mexico in Pasadena in March. Mexico claimed a 2-0 win with Smith playing a full 90 minutes in front of over 90,000 fans at the Rose Bowl.
The England-born Smith arrived in New Zealand with his family in 1998 at the age of 8, and the youngster soon made an impression by becoming part of the national youth development system. At just 17, Smith signed a professional contract with Ipswich Town’s academy. Tommy Smith returned to England in August 2007.
A broken ankle ended Smith’s season prematurely, and he was unable to play for Ipswich senior team after a loan spell with Stevenage. He then played some early matches during Roy Keane’s tenure as manager before a hand injury saw him out of the game for an extended period once again.
A successful two-month loan spell at Brentford concluded with Smith returning to Ipswich in March just after his international debut.
Smith will add depth and variety to the New Zealand backline with the youngster capable of playing either left-back or in a central-defensive role. Smith, who has the intriguing middle name of Jefferson, is likely to be the second-youngest member of the squad behind Chris Wood, having only turned 20 in March 2010.
New Zealand Midfielders
Date of Birth: 10 June 1974
Height: 180 cm
Shirt number: 7
First international: New Zealand – Singapore (21 February 1995)
Although now in the twilight of his career, All Whites coach Ricki Herbert will look to Simon Elliott for leadership as one of his most senior and valuable players. A glittering club career with several high-profile USA clubs was broken only by a stint at English Premier League side Fulham.
One of the most-capped All Whites of all time, Elliott still offers much from midfield despite being in his mid-30s. Often used as a defensive midfielder, Simon Elliott has a natural eye for goal and has long been a ‘go-to’ player in the center of the park for the All Whites.
Elliott brings a wealth of experience to the national team has played 18 matches across four FIFA World Cup campaigns for the All Whites. In 2008 Elliott was included as an overage player adding much-needed guile and experience to the spine of the New Zealand Beijing Olympics side.
Elliott has previous experience at the FIFA Confederations Cup, having played all three matches for New Zealand at their last appearance in France in 2003.
He then played every minute of the South Africa 2009 campaign in a defensive midfielder role adding guile to a relatively inexperienced Kiwi line-up shorn of captain Ryan Nelsen.
A notable club career commenced in New Zealand in 1992 with successful stints at Wellington United, Wellington Olympic, and Miramar Rangers, preceding a brief sojourn to Boston Bulldogs in the USA. Elliott then joined MLS club LA Galaxy where his club career blossomed.
His goals and assists from midfield helped the club to some successes, most notably the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup in 2000, resulting in Elliott being named the club’s Most Valuable Player.
After a successful spell with Columbus Crew, Elliott caught the eye of Fulham.
However, after a bright opening in London, a calf injury resulted in an extended period out of the game. In 2009 he joined the San Jose Earthquakes and after another strong beginning, a campaign partly disrupted by the FIFA Confederations Cup, Elliott started only 12 matches.
Just before the commencement of the MLS season in March 2010, Elliott was left off the San Jose roster leaving the veteran short of valuable match time leading up to South Africa’s 2010 World Cup.
Date of Birth: 6 March 1981
Height: 185 cm
Shirt number: 8
First international: New Zealand – Solomon Islands (31 May 2004)
As a central midfielder known for his hard work and tenacity, Tim Brown is a respected veteran of the All Whites and Wellington Phoenix teams.
He has often taken on the role of captain in the absence of Ryan Nelsen, including leading the All Whites in their 2009 Confederations Cup campaign. At 29 years old, Brown has thrived under coach Ricki Herbert and played a crucial role in New Zealand’s World Cup qualifying matches and a playoff victory over Bahrain.
After spending several years in the college system in the US, Brown played for the Richmond Kickers before joining the Australian A-League with the Newcastle Jets.
In his three seasons with the Phoenix, he has proven himself to be a dependable player and had a standout domestic season where he scored eight goals from midfield.
Tim is known for his ability to arrive late in the penalty area, but an injury sustained during a match against Australia in May required surgery and impacted his preparation for the 2010 World Cup.
Date of Birth: 20 December 1981
Height: 177 cm
Shirt number: 11
First international: Iran – New Zealand (12 October 2003)
One of the more experienced players in the New Zealand squad, Leo Bertos, has come of age as a footballer in the last three years culminating in being named Wellington Phoenix Player of the Year for 2008/09. A wide player, Bertos is best known for filling the right midfielder position but has also been utilized as a right fullback.
The 29-year-old was in his eighth year, with the national team having debuted in 2003. Bertos spent numerous seasons playing lower league soccer in England with Barnsley, Chester, Rochdale, and York City before returning to Australia to join Perth Glory.
The move to the A-League saw Berto blossom with regular first-team action, firstly in Perth for two seasons, and then with Wellington. Although only rarely on the scoresheet, Bertos has provided many assists at both international and domestic level and is known for his pace and work ethic.
Indeed it was Bertos who provided perhaps the most famous assist in New Zealand soccer history. Bertos swung in an inch-perfect corner from which Rory Fallon headed the winner against Bahrain last November in Wellington to secure New Zealand’s spot in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and win the two-legged aggregate playoff 1-0, following the goalless draw in Manama.
Bertos’ outstanding display on the right wing earned him the accolade, as his exceptional ball control and distribution skills shone through during the pivotal match for New Zealand’s football.
The New Zealander provided two assists for New Zealand in their 4-3 loss to world champions Italy in Pretoria just before the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009. He featured heavily in all three matches for the All Whites against Spain, South Africa, and Iraq.
Though the Kiwis went home without a goal, they will look heavily to the creativity of Bertos when they attempt to erase that record on this visit to South Africa.
The previous domestic campaign was a pinnacle of achievement for Bertos and his team, the Wellington Phoenix, as they not only drew in record numbers of spectators but also made history by becoming the first team from New Zealand to advance to the finals of the A-League.
Like all of New Zealand’s A-League based players, Bertos’ preparations have been hampered by the lack of recent regular football, with the domestic campaign concluding in early March.
However, enjoying the confidence of coach Ricki Herbert at both domestic and international level means Bertos is likely to be one of the first names etched onto the All Whites teamsheet at the South Africa 2010 World Cup.
Date of Birth: 24 December 1980
Height: 178 cm
Shirt number: 13
First international: New Zealand – Malaysia (19 February 2006
Andy Barron, a dedicated central midfielder for Team Wellington in the New Zealand Soccer Championship, had minimal opportunities to showcase his skills on the international stage during the early stages of his career.
Impressive performances for Team Wellington in the New Zealand Football Championship led to a national team recall for the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009, where Barron was one of three non-professionals in the All Whites squad.
Though he didn’t see game time at South Africa 2009, Barron had an entire outing against Botswana and then came off the bench against world champions Italy in two pre-tournament friendlies.
The 29-year-old has played for many clubs in his career and is one of the few New Zealand Football Championship players in the reckoning for international honors. Starting with Miramar Rangers, Barron spent four years with William Carey College in the USA College system – a popular destination for several New Zealand soccer players over the years.
In addition to a brief stint with Lisburn Distillery, he has played for Canterbury United and Team Wellington since his return to New Zealand. Interspersed between these two stints, Barron spent 2008 with the Minnesota Thunder of the USL First Division.
The Invercargill-born Barron came off the bench for New Zealand against Bahrain in Wellington to help the All Whites qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Barron was the only NZFC player to feature in the historic match, which ended New Zealand’s 28-year FIFA World Cup drought.
Date of Birth: 7 January 1987
Height: 173 cm
Shirt number: 15
First international: Jordan – New Zealand (9 September 2009)
Another recent addition to the All Whites arsenal, the diminutive New Zealand-born, Scottish-raised midfielder debuted for the All Whites last September against Jordan, having previously represented Scotland at the youth level.
McGlinchey immediately made an impression playing in New Zealand’s three following internationals, featuring in both legs of the historic 2010 FIFA World Cup playoff victory over Bahrain and then March’s friendly against Mexico.
As a highly-rated teenager, McGlinchey signed with his boyhood club Celtic, despite an offer from Manchester United and almost immediately made his debut at 17. However, it was to be his only appearance for the Glasgow giants, and after a loan spell at Dunfermline, he was eventually released in mid-2009.
Australian A-League club Central Coast Mariners picked up the 23-year-old who impressed in his five months at the club only to return to Scotland in January with Motherwell on loan. The move allowed McGlinchey to prepare for South Africa, with the A-League regular season concluding in February 2010.
A tenacious midfielder with the capability of threading a defense-splitting pass, McGlinchey’s skills have been warmly welcomed by All Whites coach Ricki Herbert’s World Cup squad.
Date of Birth: 15 January 1987
Height: 172 cm
Shirt number: 16
Date of Birth: 24 March 1982
Height: 173 cm
Shirt number: 17
First international: Estonia – New Zealand (12 October 2002)
A versatile player, Dave Mulligan is known for excelling in various positions. He is often seen as a left or right back, but he also possesses a keen eye for goal and expertise in dead-ball situations.
He was one of only two players, alongside Ben Sigmund, to participate in all six of New Zealand’s 2010 World Cup Qualifiers in the Oceania zone, where he scored three goals.
A native of Liverpool, England, Mulligan has had a varied career, playing for several clubs, including Barnsley, Port Vale, Doncaster Rovers, and most notably, Scunthorpe United, where he helped them achieve promotion to the Championship in 2006.
After a successful stint in England, Mulligan returned to New Zealand to join Wellington Phoenix under coach Ricki Herbert. However, Mulligan’s career trajectory declined after starting New Zealand’s first two matches in the FIFA Confederation Cup in South Africa in 2009.
Despite being a regular member of the All Whites squad, Mulligan’s playing time with the Phoenix was limited, and his contract was not renewed after the season in March 2010.
Date of Birth: 22 May 1983
Height: 180 cm
Shirt number: 21
First international: Australia – New Zealand (9 June 2005)
It has been a disappointing year for the former teen prodigy since featuring in the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009, which was his last appearance for the national team for 12 months.
Christie also lost his position at A-League club Wellington Phoenix and dropped to semi-professional soccer, spending a season with Waitakere United.
However, in an attempt to reinvigorate his career and a shot at the All Whites’ South Africa 2010 squad, Christie signed for USA second-tier side Tampa Bay Rowdies for their inaugural season in January.
Christie, a versatile footballer, has donned various positions throughout his career, but mainly operates in midfield. However, his most frequent role was at right-back for the Wellington Phoenix.
The tough-tackling Christie started his career in boom fashion by captaining his country at the FIFA U-17 World Cup on home turf in 1999. There followed appearances for the New Zealand U-20 national team only for his club career to stall at various times.
A lengthy spell at Barnsley in England saw Christie fail to find regular first-team action. Still, the agile utility has found the Australian A-League prosperous, firstly with New Zealand Knights and then with Perth Glory alongside fellow Kiwi flanker Leo Bertos.
Christie was brought on as an early substitute against Spain in the All Whites’ 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup opener, helping to shore up New Zealand’s midfield defensive effort. He earned a start against South Africa but was again on the bench for the final group match against Iraq in the World Cup qualifiers.
New Zealand Forwards
Date of Birth: 8 October 1981
Height: 188 cm
Shirt number: 10
First international: New Zealand – Tahiti (19 June 2000)
Chris Killen, a towering and robust forward, brings a commanding presence to the field with his muscular build, often serving as a target for the All Whites on set pieces.
Despite a strong scoring record since making his debut in the 2000 OFC Nations Cup, Killen had previously made only sporadic appearances for the national team, only playing one match in the Oceania zone of FIFA World Cup qualifying rounds.
However, he became a regular selection, scoring a brace against world champions Italy in a lead-up match before the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009 and featuring heavily in all three of New Zealand’s games at the tournament.
The Kiwi played a crucial role in New Zealand’s intercontinental playoff victory over Bahrain, securing their qualification for the 2010 World Cup.
Killen’s value to the national team was further demonstrated by his inclusion in the New Zealand U-23 squad for the nation’s first appearance at an Olympic Games football tournament as one of three over-age players.
Throughout his club career, Killen has spent his entire time in the United Kingdom, starting with Manchester City, and later had successful stints with Oldham Athletic, Hibernian, Celtic, and Norwich City before joining Gordon Strachan at Middlesbrough.
Date of Birth: 29 September 1981
Height: 184 cm
Shirt number: 9
First international: USA – New Zealand (08-06-2003)
Date of Birth: 20 March 1982
Height: 191 cm
Shirt number: 14
First international: Jordan – New Zealand (9 September 2009)
Date of Birth: 7 December 1991
Height: 191 cm
Shirt number: 20
First international: Tanzania – New Zealand (3 June 2009)
At the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup, Chris Wood considerably impacted the All Whites, earning him a contract with the English club West Bromwich Albion.
Two years later, he was quickly brought up to the national team by Coach Ricki Herbert, debuting in a warm-up match before the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa. At only 18, Wood was the youngest player on the New Zealand squad during their 2010 FIFA World Cup campaign.
Date of Birth: 7 October 1987
Height: 182 cm
Shirt number: 22
First international: New Zealand – Malaysia (19 February 2006)
Jeremy Brockie, known for his versatility as a player, has had a dynamic career, beginning as a striker and later shifting to the flanks, where he mainly plays in an attacking role.
Despite a rough patch in his career, Brockie made a comeback with a bang when he joined the new Australian A-League club, North Queensland Fury, where he played alongside the legendary Robbie Fowler.
His resurgence was due to his impressive goalscoring run with New Zealand’s U-23 team, which included scoring the only goal for New Zealand in the Beijing 2008 Olympics against host nation China.
As a young player, Brockie made a name for himself in the A-League’s inaugural season by scoring several goals for the New Zealand Knights. However, his time at the high-profile club Sydney FC was short-lived, and he returned to the domestic competition in New Zealand.
Brockie’s international career began with his debut for the national team in 2006, and he went on to play in two of New Zealand’s six FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Despite a less-than-stellar performance against Spain at the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009, he returned with a solid performance against Iraq.
Unfortunately, his most recent domestic season was marred by injury. The 22-year-old had to race against time to be fit for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa after suffering a fractured tibia in January while playing for North Queensland Fury. He has since left the Fury and joined another A-League team, Newcastle Jets.
New Zealand Coach
Name: Ricki Herbert
Country: New Zealand
Date of Birth: 10 April 1961
Ricky Herbert is a celebrated figure in New Zealand’s soccer world, having achieved great success as both the coach of the national team that reached the 2010 World Cup and as the manager of the Wellington Phoenix in the Australian A-League.
In the last year, Herbert has played a significant role in New Zealand’s impressive showing in the sport, most notably leading the team to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 28 years. Herbert and his assistant, Brian Turner, have a special connection to this achievement as they were both members of the New Zealand team that qualified for the 1982 World Cup.
Herbert’s tactics, including switching to an attacking formation of three strikers, helped the team secure a crucial 1-0 win against Bahrain and qualify for the World Cup. Additionally, Herbert guided the Wellington Phoenix to the finals of the A-League, making them the first New Zealand team to do so in 11 years, and attracted a growing fanbase.
As a player, Herbert was a talented defender known for his aerial ability and ability to contribute on the flanks. He played in all 15 of New Zealand’s qualification matches for the 1982 World Cup, scoring a crucial equalizer against Saudi Arabia. He also had a brief professional career in England with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
After holding various coaching positions in the domestic league and with the national governing body, Herbert was appointed as New Zealand’s head coach in 2005. He later took over as manager of the New Zealand Knights, which later became the Wellington Phoenix.
Under his leadership, the Phoenix came close to reaching the playoffs in 2009 and finally achieved it the following year. Herbert holds highly-regarded UEFA coaching licenses, including the ‘A’ and ‘Pro’ International Coaching Licences.
How Did New Zealand 2010 World Cup Squad Perform?
The New Zealand soccer team’s performance at the 2010 World Cup was a surprise to many, starting with a historic 1-1 draw against Slovakia in which Winston Reid scored in injury time to earn his nation’s first point in World Cups, a far cry from the 1982 team who lost all their group games.
The All Whites followed up with an impressive 1-1 draw against group favorites Italy, with Shane Smeltz scoring early. They came close to winning the match but couldn’t convert in the 83rd minute.
In their final match, they needed a win to progress but could only secure a goalless draw with Paraguay, ultimately finishing with three points and in third place in the group, ahead of Italy.
Despite their brief campaign, the New Zealand 2010 World Cup team was the only undefeated country. Even the World Champions Spain lost a match in the group stages.
The Press (main image)
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