New Zealand going into FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup with ‘lot of belief’, coach says

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Head coach Darren Bazeley believes the depth of talent in his side will serve New Zealand well at the FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup that starts this weekend in Argentina.

In a media briefing on the eve of the tournament, Bazeley said his 21-player squad could cover every position with two or three players.

“It’s the deepest squad I’ve ever coached,” he said.

Bazeley said he had depth in every position. For instance, all three goalkeepers were potential future All Whites, and the squad had “a lot of belief” going into the tournament.

New Zealand’s opening game is against Guatemala on Sunday at 6am (NZT).

READ MORE: Sky Sport to broadcast New Zealand’s opener at FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup >>>>

READ MORE: FIFA+ to provide free live stream of New Zealand v Guatemala match >>>>

Bazeley warned Guatemala were a good side, having knocked out Mexico and Canada on their way to qualifying for the tournament.

“There are no easy games at a World Cup,” he said.

To gain an advantage, Guatemala were the first team to arrive in Argentina and had played four lead-up games against local club sides, compared to New Zealand’s sole preparatory fixture.

READ MORE: Guatemala’s plan to hit the ground running at FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup >>>>

Beating Ecuador in a warm-up game had been useful because it had allowed the coaches to get “a lot of minutes into a lot of players”, with all but one of the squad getting pitch time.

READ MORE: New Zealand beat Ecuador in warm-up for FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup >>>>

Apart from a couple of minor niggles early in the week, the squad was at full strength with all players available for the opener, Bazeley said.

Conditions during the lead-up week had been hot and humid but it was likely temperatures for the first match would be cooler, though rain was possible.

Player to watch — New Zealand

Coach Bazeley rates defender and team captain Finn Surman as a “good leader”, saying he believes he’s a future All White.

Surman has broken into the first team reckoning at the Wellington Phoenix this year, making his men’s A-League debut.

Player to watch – Guatemala

Forward Arquimides Ordonez scored five goals at the 2022 Concacaf U-20 Championship. He can lead the line or fall back into midfield to pick up possession.

His performance earned him a call-up to the full Guatemalan national team, paying friendlies against Colombia and Honduras.


Game to be played on Sunday May 21, 2023 (NZT)

Guatemala v New Zealand
Estadio Único Madre de Ciudades, Santiago del Estoro, 6am (NZT)

Check out the stadium for New Zealand’s opening game:

How to watch

Fans can watch it live in two ways:

  • Sky Sport will broadcast the game from 5.50am (NZT) on their pay channels Sky Sport 4 and 9.
  • FIFA+ will stream the match live for free.

READ MORE: Sky Sport to broadcast New Zealand’s opener at FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup >>>>

WATCH: Free live-stream — New Zealand play Guatemala at FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup >>>>


New Zealand

13 Henry Gray, Ipswich Town, England
21 Alby Kelly-Heald, Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
1 Kees Sims, Ljungskile SK, Sweden

4 Isaac Hughes, Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
2 Jackson Jarvie, Eastern Suburbs, New Zealand
20 Lukas Kelly-Heald, Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
14 Finn Linder, Vancouver Whitecaps, Canada
12 Everton O’Leary, Birkenhead United, New Zealand
3 Adam Supyk, Eastern Suburbs, New Zealand
5 Finn Surman, Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
15 Aaryan Raj, Eastern Suburbs, New Zealand

6 Fin Conchie, Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
10 Jay Herdman, Vancouver Whitecaps, Canada
7 Noah Karunaratne, Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
8 Jackson Manuel, Western Springs, New Zealand
16 Dan McKay, Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand

9 Oliver Colloty, currently on trial in England
19 Kian Donkers, NEC Nijmegen, Netherlands
17 Oli Fay, Ljungskile SK, Sweden
11 Norman Garbett, Potenza Calcio, Italy
18 Ben Wallace, Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand

Head coach
Darren Bazeley

Assistant coaches
Paul Temple
Martin Bullock

Goalkeeper coach
Glen Moss

READ MORE: More about the New Zealand players >>>>


12 Jorge Moreno (Comunicaciones FC)
21 David Aldana (SD Municipal)
1 Fausto Delgado (Global Soccer Academy)

4 Mathius Gaitan (CSD Municipal)
2 Randall Corado (CSD Municipal)
3 Emerson Raymundo (Suchitepequez)
14 Jonathan Franco (SD Municipal)
16 Joshua Urizar (Deportivo Mixco)
5 Arian Recinos (NY Red Bulls, United States)
6 Carlos Santos (Iztapa)


5 Arian Recinos (NY Red Bulls, United States)
11 Rudy Munoz (CSD Municipal)
20 Figo Montano (CSD Municipal)
15 Andy Dominguez (Comunicaciones FC)
18 Edy Palencia (Comunicaciones FC)
7 Daniel Cardoza (Comunicaciones FC)
8 Nestor Cabrera (New York Red Bulls, United States)

17 Jose Espinoza (Zacapa)
19 Anderson Villagran (Deportivo Malacateco)
9 Jeffery Bantes (CSD Municipal)
10 Archimedes Ordonez (Cincinnati, United States)
13 Allan Juarez (San Jose Earthquakes, United States)

Head coach
Rafael Loredo

Assistant coach
Jorge Garcia

Goalkeeper coach
Edgar Jerez


Game to be played on Wednesday May 24, 2023 (NZT)

New Zealand v Uzbekistan
Estadio Único Madre de Ciudades, Santiago del Estoro, 6am (NZT)

Game to be played on Saturday May 27, 2023 (NZT)

New Zealand v Argentina
Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario, San Juan, 9am

The 25,000-capacity Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario, where New Zealand will play Argentina. Photo credit: Enrique Guardia.

Full schedule

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