D.C. United captain Ryan Nelsen, who also captains the All-Whites, and two Columbus Crew midfielders, Duncan Oughton and Simon Elliott.
On Saturday, New Zealand lost the opening match in the round-robin 1-0 to arch-rival Australia, as both Oughton and Elliott figured in the starting lineup (Oughton coming off for a substitute after 78 minutes). Then two days later, the Kiwis rebounded with a 3-0 victory against Solomon Islands, as Oughton scored the second goal in the 81st minute, one minute after coming on as a substitute. Elliott played the entire match. Nelsen, still hampered by a groin injury suffered in his final MLS match before heading overseas, has not been fit enough to play a single minute.
New Zealand has three matches remaining, against Vanuatu (June 2), Tahiti (June 4), and Fiji (June 6). The top two teams after the round-robin will face a home-and-home series, with the winner then facing a playoff against South America's fifth-place team for a place in Germany 2006.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.