NZ to play Honduras, El Salvador in friendlies

Published Apr. 1, 2012 5:44 p.m. ET

New Zealand will play friendlies against Honduras and El Salvador in the United States next month to warm up for a World Cup qualifying tournament in June.

Football New Zealand says the All Whites will play El Salvador at Houston on May 23 and Honduras at Dallas on May 26. The matches fall outside the FIFA window for international friendlies, but chief executive Grant McKavanagh says clubs will be asked to release leading players.

The matches will help prepare New Zealand for the eight-team Oceania Nations Cup in the Solomon Islands from June 1-12, the second stage of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. The four top teams will progress to the next stage of home and away matches.