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US-New Zealand to Play Friendly Soccer Match Sunday - 2003-06-08


The United States national soccer team plays its final friendly warm-up match for the Confederations Cup when it meets New Zealand at the University of Richmond Stadium in Virginia.

Sunday's match comes just 11 days before the kickoff of the Confederations Cup tournament in France, and marks the first and only time the 23-man American roster will have an opportunity to practice together.

A match that had been scheduled against Portugal for June 5 had to be cancelled last month. U.S. coach Bruce Arena says the original plan was to have two international games this week in order to give every player a chance to play. The Americans have four wins, one loss and one draw in 2003. The loss came aginst Argentina in February.

The U.S. squad and the "All Whites" of New Zealand have met only once before, a 2-1 American victory in 1999 at the opening of the Confederations Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico. The United States team opens play in the tournament against Turkey on June 19 in Saint Ettiene, France.

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