All Whites team for Cup warm-up named
All White football coach Ricki Herbert today named his strongest possible side for the World Cup warm-up match against Mexico in Los Angeles next month.
Among the inclusions in the 17-strong squad is Plymouth Argyle striker Rory Fallon, who was involved in club-versus-country tug-of-war over his availability for the fixture on March 3.
Missing are two players who took part in the home-and-away tie against Bahrain that clinched qualification for South Africa - defender Ivan Vicelich and goalkeeper Mark Paston.
Vicelich is suspended for one friendly after picking up a red card against Jordan in September, while Paston is coming back from injury.
Goalkeeper Glen Moss returns from suspension, while newcomers Tommy Smith and Olympic Games standout Craig Henderson are given chances to push for a place in Herbert's final 23 for South Africa.
The match against fellow World Cup-bound Mexico is New Zealand's first since they got past Bahrain in November.
NEW ZEALAND SQUAD TO FACE MEXICO (club, caps/goals in brackets)
Glen MOSS (Melbourne Victory, Australia - 15/0)
James BANNATYNE (Team Wellington - 5/0)
Tony LOCHHEAD (Wellington Phoenix - 29/0)
Ryan NELSEN (Blackburn Rovers, England / Captain - 41/9)
Andrew BOYENS (New York Red Bulls, USA - 15/0)
Ben SIGMUND (Wellington Phoenix - 12/1)
Tommy SMITH (Brentford, England - 0/0)
Andy BARRON (Team Wellington - 13/1)
Leo BERTOS (Wellington Phoenix - 30/0)
Tim BROWN (Wellington Phoenix - 27/0)
Simon ELLIOTT (San Jose Earthquakes, USA - 69/8)
Michael McGLINCHEY (Motherwell, Scotland - 3/0)
Craig HENDERSON (Mjällby AIF, Sweden – 0/0)
Shane SMELTZ (Gold Coast United, Australia – 32/17)
Rory FALLON (Plymouth Argyle, England – 3/2)
Chris KILLEN (Middlesbrough, England – 35/17)
Chris WOOD (West Bromwich Albion, England – 5/0)