There is plenty of optimism about the Football Ferns ahead of their first match of the FIFA Women's World Cup, but an American writer isn't rating their chances too highly.
In a piece for sports website Deadspin, Lauren Theisen tore into the Football Ferns.
"New Zealand are the cockroaches of women's international soccer – they're always around," Theison wrote.
"By virtue of playing in limp-ass Oceania and therefore having the luxury to qualify for the biggest tournaments simply by beating up on the even tinier nations around them, New Zealand essentially get free admission to the World Cup every four years.
"And if they're lucky and don't blow it against Cameroon, they might actually win a game this time around."
The Ferns are coming off a frustrating 2018 under then-head coach Andreas Heraf, who reportedly created a culture of bullying, intimidation, and fear around the team.
However, under new coach Tom Sermanni, who is the former coach of top-ranked women's side the United States, the Ferns have produced several positive results and are going into this year's tournament with a new sense of optimism.
This year, the Ferns have recorded wins over England, Norway, Mexico and Argentina.
Theisen did, however, credit the New Zealand side for their consistency.
"If nothing else, especially for a country with such a small population, you have to give the Football Ferns credit for their consistency."
According to the writer, the Ferns have a chance of reaching the knockout stages at the tournament.
"New Zealand are a threat to frustrate their more talented group stage opponents, the Netherlands and Canada, but if they're going to sneak out of the group, it'll almost assuredly be as a one-win third-place team."
The Football Ferns kickoff their FIFA Women's World Cup campaign at 1am (NZT) tomorrow morning against the Netherlands.