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New Zealand will feature short-handed roster for USWNT friendlies

(Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

New Zealand will play against the USWNT this month with a depleted roster.

The squad was named on Friday, with eight players currently having not played in a game for New Zealand. Five of those players received their first call-up to the national team.

A total of 13 of the team’s regulars – including No. 1 goalkeeper VIc Esson – will be playing for their clubs. The fixtures, which take place on Jan. 18 and 21, fall outside of the FIFA international window, which means that those clubs are not required to release players.

Other players remain sidelined with injuries.

The previous four matches between the two teams featured the USWNT winning by significant margins, despite the Ferns fielding full-strength squads.

The USWNT will be without Megan Rapinoe and Sophia Smith in New Zealand as both continue to recover from injuries.