Uncapped duo in NZ squad to face Socceroos

by NZPA on May 17, 2011

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Uncapped pair Jake Gleeson and Craig Henderson have been included in a 23-man New Zealand squad for soccer internationals against Australia and Mexico next month.

Captain Ryan Nelsen, Rory Fallon, Leo Bertos and Jeremy Christie are all unavailable because of injury but Tim Brown, Ben Sigmund, Winston Reid, Mark Paston and Simon Elliott are fit again after missing the All Whites' draw with China in March.

Portland Timbers goalkeeper Gleeson was picked in the squad to face China but missed the match after he was released back to his Major League Soccer club after an injury crisis.

Henderson, who plays for Swedish club Mjallby AIF, was called up for last year's international against Mexico but a ruptured cruciate ligament ruled him out of the trip and denied him a chance to force his way into the squad for the World Cup.

"They are two young players who should, and hopefully will, have a bright future with the national team. For a couple of different reasons they haven't had the chance to do that before now so it will great to have them aboard," All Whites coach Ricki Herbert said.

The All Whites play Mexico at altitude in Denver on June 1 and Australia in Adelaide on June 5.

All Whites squad:-

Goalkeepers: Jake Glesson (Portland Timbers), Glen Moss (Gold Coast United), Mark Paston (Wellington Phoenix). Defenders: Andrew Boyens (Chivas USA), Michael Boxall (Vancouver Whitecaps), Michael Fitzgerald (Albirex Niigata, Japan), Tony Lochhead (Wellington Phoenix), Winston Reid (West Ham), Ben Sigmund (Wellington Phoenix), Tommy Smith (Ipswich Town), Ivan Vicelich (Auckland City). Midfielders: Jeremy Brockie (Newcastle Jets), Tim Brown (Wellington Phoenix), Aaron Clapham (Canterbury United), Simon Elliott (Chivas USA), David Mulligan (Auckland City), Michael McGlinchey (Central Coast Mariners), Marco Rojas (Melbourne Victory). Forwards: Kosta Barbarouses (Brisbane Roar), Craig Henderson (Mjallby - Sweden), Chris Killen (Shenzhen Ruby - China), Shane Smeltz (Perth Glory), Chris Wood (West Bromwich Albion). Non-travelling reserves: Kris Bright (Budapest Honved - Hungary), Cole Peverley (Charleston Battery - USA), Luke Rowe (Birmingham City). Not considered because of injury: Leo Bertos (Wellington Phoenix), Jeremy Christie (Tampa Bay - USA), Rory Fallon (Plymouth Argyle), Ryan Nelsen (Blackburn Rovers).