Soccer: Uncapped duo picked for All Whites tour

The All Whites will play Mexico and Australia in June. Photo / Getty Images
The All Whites will play Mexico and Australia in June. Photo / Getty Images

Jake Gleeson and Craig Henderson will get another chance to start their All Whites careers after being selected in a 23-man squad for internationals against Mexico and Australia in June.

The uncapped pair have both previously made false starts to their international career having been picked in travelling squads but subsequently withdrawing for contrasting reasons.

Gleeson, 20, was picked as back up to Glen Moss for this year's first friendly against China but was released to play for Portland Timbers in the MLS. He made his Major League debut while the national team was away and has added another three appearances since.

Henderson, 23, was picked for last year's friendly against Mexico but a ruptured cruciate ligament ruled him out of the trip and killed any hopes of forcing his way into New Zealand's FIFA World Cup squad.

The All Whites play Mexico at altitude in Denver on June 1 (June 2 NZT) and Australia in Adelaide on June 5 and while the pair are not guaranteed game time in an enlarged squad, Herbert is keen to get them involved as he builds a squad that can qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

"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," Herbert said.

Herbert says the increased squad size will help cover for the effects of a tight travel schedule and provide opportunities on and off the field for the new batch of internationals coming through.

"The games are so tight and with the travel factor in there as well we've agreed to take 23 players to cover."

"Just as importantly it gives a chance to get some of the newer players involved a bit more on the training side. We'll get three or four sessions on the ground In Denver, maybe none in Australia but players like Michael Fitzgerald, Michael Boxall, Kosta Barbarouses and Marco Rojas get to add this to what they've done already."

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 all fit again after missing the match against China.

The 13 Australasian-based players will assemble in Auckland on May 24 for a five day training camp that features a hit out against a Waitakere United Invitational XI on May 25.

All Whites squad for June Internationals (Club - caps/ goals)
Includes 'A' Internationals only

Goalkeepers
Jake Gleeson (Portland Timbers, USA - 0/0)
Glen Moss (Gold Coast United, AUS - 17/0)
Mark Paston (Wellington Phoenix - 28/0)

Defenders
Andrew Boyens (Chivas USA, USA - 17/0)
Michael Boxall (Vancouver Whitecaps, CAN - 1/0)
Michael Fitzgerald(Albirex Niigata, JPN - 1/0)
Tony Lochhead (Wellington Phoenix - 34/0)
Winston Reid (West Ham, ENG - 8/1)
Ben Sigmund (Wellington Phoenix - 16/1)
Tommy Smith (Ipswich Town, ENG - 8/0)
Ivan Vicelich (Auckland City - 72/7)

Midfielders
Jeremy Brockie (Newcastle Jets, AUS - 22/0)
Tim Brown (Wellington Phoenix - 27/0)
Aaron Clapham (Canterbury United - 3/0)
Simon Elliott (Chivas USA, USA - 68/8)
David Mulligan (Auckland City - 26/3)
Michael MCGlinchey (Central Coast Mariners, AUS - 8/1)
Marco ROJAS (Melbourne Victory, AUS - 1/0)

Forwards
Kosta Barbarouses (Brisbane Roar, AUS - 2/0)
Craig Henderson (Mjallby, SWE - 0/0)
Chris Killen (Shenzhen Ruby, CHN - 37/18)
Shane Smeltz (Perth Glory, AUS - 35/18)
Chris Wood (West Bromwich Albion, ENG - 15/1)

Non travelling reserves
Kris Bright (Budapest Honvéd, HUN)
Cole Peverley (Charleston Battery, USA)
Luke Rowe (Birmingham City, ENG)

Not considered because of injury
Leo Bertos (Wellington Phoenix)
Jeremy Christie (Tampa Bay, USA)
Rory Fallon (Plymouth Argyle, ENG)
Ryan Nelsen (Blackburn Rovers, ENG)

- HERALD ONLINE

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