VANCOUVER, BC – New Zealand Football announced on Thursday that Whitecaps FC 2 (WFC2) left back Deklan Wynne has been called up for his country's upcoming Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Stage Three qualifying matches against Fiji for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
All Whites head coach Anthony Hudson has called this his strongest squad since he's been in charge, noting Wynne as one of the country's top young talents. His side will face Fiji in a home-and-home series in qualifying, with the teams set to meet on March 25 in Laukota, Fiji before the return fixture on March 28 in Wellington, New Zealand.
“It is the best squad we have had since I have been here,” said Hudson. “We have got quality all around the pitch, we have depth and competition for places, and the best thing about this squad is we have a good blend of experience and youth. There is energy, quality and hunger in this squad so I’m very pleased.”
Wynne was most recently called up for World Cup qualifiers against New Caledonia in November, and prior to that for the Kiwis two-match tour in America against Mexico and the United States, starting the first match against Mexico and assisting on New Zealand's goal in a closely contested 2-1 loss in Nashville.
In his second season with WFC2 last year, Wynne started five of his 10 USL regular season appearances. After returning from international duty, the left back also started the Western Conference Final for the 'Caps against Swope Park Rangers.
New Zealand will need to finish atop their group to advance to the two-leg OFC final round, with the winner then facing the fifth-placed team from South America's CONMEBOL qualifying for a spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
WFC2 season ticket memberships for the 2017 USL season are on sale now. For more information, visit whitecapsfc2.com.