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NZF: Kiwis abroad

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Below is a wrap of performances by New Zealand’s overseas-based professionals in recent days.

Kyle Adams (Rio Grande Valley, USA): Helped keep a clean sheet in a nil-all draw against Swope Park Rangers in the United Soccer League (USL). Drawing is now becoming a habit for the Toros, who have picked up one point on six occasions and tasted victory just once to lie in lower mid-table on the Western Conference standings.

CJ Bott (USV Jena, GER): After a 1-0 loss to SC Sand, Jena are now deep in relegation trouble and are running out of time to haul themselves clear. Bott played the full game at right back and will need to be at her best in the next pair of fixtures as Jena try to stay in the Frauen Bundesliga. They are just one point behind third-from-bottom Werder Bremen though so there is hope as only two go down.

Michael Boxall (Minnesota United, USA): Helped Minnesota bounce back from a 3-1 defeat to San Jose Earthquakes by earning a point at home to Sporting Kansas City. Boxall played the full match in the heart of the defence as the Loons held the Major League Soccer (MLS) Western Conference leaders to a 1-1 draw in front of a sell-out crowd of over 23,000.

Tyler Boyd (CD Tondela, POR): Wrapped up his season-long loan spell with a 1-0 loss to Setubal as Tondela finished tenth in the Portuguese top flight. Boyd signed off with another 90 minutes on the right wing and ends with five goals from 27 games (14 of those being starts). He will now return to Vitoria SC and look to impress in the final year of his contract.

Katie Bowen (Utah Royals, USA): Did not feature prominently over the past fortnight as the Royals enjoyed a fruitful pair of matches, pocketing four points. Bowen was firstly an unused substitute in a scoreless stalemate against Orlando Pride but received some game time in the win that followed, coming on for the closing stages of a 1-0 triumph over Houston Dash.

Jeremy Brockie (Mamelodi Sundowns, RSA): Graced the same pitch as one of the all-time legends of the game when Lionel Messi and his Barcelona team mates dropped in to Soweto for a Nelson Mandela commemoration match. A huge crowd turned up to watch Barca win 3-1 with goals to Ousmane Dembele, Luis Suarez and Andre Gomes. Both Brockie and Messi came on towards the end of the encounter.

Elliot Collier (Chicago Fire, USA): Has seen his rapid rise to prominence in the MLS come to an abrupt halt after picking up an injury. The striker went down during training earlier in the week and therefore missed a 3-2 loss at home to Houston Dynamo over the weekend. It was the first game Collier has not featured for the Fire so far this season.

Kip Colvey/Tommy Smith/Deklan Wynne (Colorado Rapids, USA): The Kiwi contingent at Colorado will need to help dig the team out of a hole after a fourth straight defeat, this time 4-0 to Patrick Vieira’s New York City at the famous Yankee Stadium. Smith and Wynne played the full 90 minutes while Colvey was an unused substitute.

Abby Erceg (North Carolina Courage, USA): Led the Courage to a 2-1 win over Sky Blue which strengthened their position at the top of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). A week earlier, she had headed in her first goal in nearly a year to edge out Washington Spirit 1-0. The Courage remain undefeated after nine games and hold a nine-point lead.

Jake Gleeson/Bill Tuiloma (Portland Timbers, USA): After stepping away from first-team duties due to injury, Tuiloma has since made three consecutive starts for Timbers 2 in the USL under Kiwi coach Cameron Knowles, a former New Zealand youth international. The latest of these was a 7-3 win over LA Galaxy while Gleeson was an unused substitute as the first team posted a 2-1 victory against Los Angeles FC in the MLS.

Anna Green (Reading, ENG): Has struggled for regular game time this season and was again an unused substitute as Reading drew 1-1 with Birmingham City. The Royals have ended the campaign in fourth place, their highest ever finish in the top flight of the FA Women’s Super League. Green was a constant presence in the match day squad throughout the campaign and made five appearances.

Amber Hearn/Meikayla Moore (FC Koln, GER): Along with Bott’s Jena, the Kiwi pair at Koln are still far from safety. With two matches remaining, Koln are propping up the table - locked on points with Jena - and a 4-2 loss to Potsdam didn’t help matters. Moore took full part at centre back while Hearn found the net for her fourth strike of the campaign. She will need to keep scoring over the coming days if Koln are to have any chance of staying up.

Clayton Lewis (Scunthorpe United, ENG): The League One season ended on a low note for Lewis as Scunthorpe were beaten 4-2 by Rotherham United in the play-off semi-finals and the midfielder was not included in the squad for either leg. With the man who signed him - former Premier League player Graham Alexander - no longer in charge, Lewis will aim to impress new boss Nick Daws and break into the line-up next season.

Stefan Marinovic (Vancouver Whitecaps, CAN): Has made the number one jersey his own at the Whitecaps but is now facing a frustrating spell on the sidelines after suffering a knee injury in training. His ever-present record has therefore been spoiled with the goalkeeper missing the past three matches, which have remarkably all ended in 2-2 draws.

James Musa (Phoenix Rising, USA): Played the full game in the middle of a back three as Phoenix, second in the Western Conference of the USL, fell 3-1 to Sacramento Republic. The match was most notable as being the 500th professional appearance for the Rising’s veteran striker, Chelsea and Ivory Coast legend Didier Drogba.

Erin Nayler (Girondins de Bordeaux, FRA): Back in action after compassionate leave, Nayler has played in the last two matches which both ended in 1-0 defeats. Those losses are part of a disappointing streak for Bordeaux that has brought no wins from the last seven games. They can still finish as high as fifth in the French top division though if they win their remaining match this weekend against Lille.

Aimee Phillips (Spartak Subotica, SRB): On the verge of ending her first season as a professional with some silverware as Spartak Subotica could soon wrap up the Serbian title. Phillips has featured prominently as Subotica cruised into the playoffs in fine style, the team losing just once and scoring 86 goals while conceding only three. They will host title rivals Crvena Zvezda in their remaining match and a win will claim the trophy.

Ali Riley (FC Rosengard, SWE): Another player among the silverware, Riley helped herself to a third successive Swedish Cup after a 1-0 victory over Linkoping in the final. Rosengard had beaten Linkoping in both earlier finals but have missed out to the same side in the previous two league campaigns. Their quest to correct that suffered a setback over the weekend with a surprise 2-0 loss to Kristianstad.

Marco Rojas (SC Heerenveen, NED): The season has ended in disappointment for the ‘Kiwi Messi’ after Heerenveen lost out to FC Utrecht in a thrilling Europa League play-off. Rojas came on for the final 20 minutes of the first leg as Heerenveen won 4-3 and did likewise in the return match, scoring soon after to make it 5-5 on aggregate. But his side couldn’t find a winner and were denied European football as Utrecht won on away goals. Rojas finishes with 22 Eredivisie appearances (including seven starts) and four goals.

Katie Rood (Juventus, ITA): Did not take the field but was able to celebrate nonetheless as Juventus clinched the Italian title in dramatic fashion. They were equal on points with Brescia and, despite having a superior goal difference, league rules deemed a playoff was necessary. It went right to the wire, Juve eventually emerging triumphant on penalties after a scoreless stalemate.

Rebekah Stott (Sky Blue, USA): Missed out on the chance to face former Football Fern Erceg due to a groin strain and will hope to return to fitness in time to face Japan next month in Wellington. She took full part at centre back in the previous round but couldn’t prevent a 4-1 loss to the Seattle Reign.

Hannah Wilkinson (Vittsjo GIK, SWE): Was tasked with saving the day as a late substitute but was unable to rescue a point as Vittsjo fell 1-0 to Gotenborg. In contrast to Riley’s title-chasing Rosengard, Vittsjo are just above the relegation places in the Damallsvenskan and have lost their last three matches, all 1-0.

Chris Wood (Burnley, ENG): Has enjoyed an outstanding campaign on his return to the Premier League and finished as Burnley’s top scorer after getting on the scoresheet in their final game, a 2-1 defeat to Bournemouth. Despite that loss, the Clarets finished seventh - their highest position in the top flight since coming sixth in 1974 - and qualified for Europe for the first time in 51 years. Wood notched 11 goals and has been described by many observers as one of the best signings of the season.

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