27 Jan 2015

Football Ferns to play USA

9:29 am on 27 January 2015

New Zealand Football has confirmed a match between the Football Ferns and the United States as a part of their preparations for the World Cup in Canada in June.

Football Ferns coach Tony Readings looks at video footage with his players

Football Ferns coach Tony Readings looks at video footage with his players Photo: Photosport

The Ferns will play North Korea and Australia in a tri-series in Auckland next month, with the clash against the number two ranked Americans in April.

The match will be played at Busch Stadium, St Louis, the home of the St Louis Cardinals baseball team, on April 4th as both nations continue their preparation for the FIFA Women's World Cup.

New Zealand Football High Performance Director Fred de Jong says the opportunity to battle the United States once again underlines the direction of New Zealand's elite sides under the Beyond Football High Performance Plan.

He says the Football Ferns performances and results in recent times against some of the top nations have consequently earned these types of fixtures against the best sides in world football at what is a key time - shortly before a World Cup tournament.

De Jong says this game again ticks all the boxes from their perspective.... it comes against the strongest possible opposition and allows the coaching staff and the team the chance to measure how they are tracking towards their World Cup targets in June.

Football Ferns coach Tony Readings says April's clash is ideal for his side with the World Cup kicking off less than two months after the game.

He says you just keep on testing yourselves against the teams that you want to be playing at the latter stages of the tournament..... they don't come much better than the USA.

The last meeting of the two countries came in October 2013 as the Football Ferns were beaten 4-1 in San Francisco before a 1-all draw was played out in Columbus and Readings says there were clear lessons from those encounters which will serve the Football Ferns well in April.

He says one of the key things for them now is going to be, against this level of opposition, creating more chances and when they do, being able to capitalise on them.

The two sides also met in the quarter-finals of the London Olympics where the United States were 2-nil winners.

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