USA to play friendlies vs. New Zealand
The United States women's soccer team will face New Zealand in a pair of exhibitions next month, a rematch of their meeting in last year's Olympic quarterfinals.
The Oct. 27 game at Candlestick Park will be the first time the U.S. women have played in San Francisco in their 28-year history. The teams will then travel to Columbus, Ohio, for a game on Oct. 30.
The United States is 9-1 against New Zealand, including a 2-0 victory in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Olympics. The Americans went on to win their third straight gold medal in London and are currently the top-ranked team in the world.
"New Zealand is a much-improved side over the past few years," said U.S. head coach Tom Sermanni, who saw quite a bit of the Kiwis during his two stints as head coach of Australia. "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."
The United States Soccer Federation also announced that it will play Australia in an exhibition game on Oct. 20 at San Antonio's Alamodome.
The top-ranked U.S., the defending Olympic champion, is 9-0 in previous indoor matches. The Americans beat the Matildas 2-1 and 6-2 last year in the final two matches under coach Pia Sundhage, who left to coach her native Sweden. She was succeeded by Tom Sermanni.
The game announced Monday is the first for the U.S. women in San Antonio since 1996.