All Whites skipper Ryan Nelsen is just days away from his biggest high of the year - and it has nothing to do with football.
Nelsen's wife Monica is due to give birth to their second child - a girl - and will go into hospital on Tuesday to prepare for a caesarean.
"Yes, he's really focused on the little girl, very excited," Nelsen's mother Christine said yesterday.
Nelsen is in the US with his American wife so she can be with her family when she has the baby.
They are staying in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. The area has more than 400 lakes and is known for fishing and recreation.
Nelsen arrived there from the World Cup in South Africa minus his luggage, and with a broken cellphone after he was thrown into a pool by his teammates.
"He was exhausted," said his proud mother. "The whole journey from South Africa had taken 30 hours and when he got there his bags were missing. But he's got them back."
Nelsen will be in Australia with his English club Blackburn this month for a tournament. He hopes to also visit hometown Christchurch.
But Monica, the new baby and their son Max, 2, would return to England when she was ready to travel.By Barry Clarke