San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Simon Elliott has been called for national team duty for a World Cup qualifying playoff match next weekend. Elliott will play for New Zealand in an Asia-Oceania World Cup Playoff second leg against Bahrain on Saturday, Nov. 14 in Wellington, New Zealand.
Elliott will leave for New Zealand this week. In 66 appearances for the All Whites, Elliott has scored eight international goals. His last call-up to his national side was for the first leg of this World Cup Qualifier Playoff against Bahrain, in which the All-Whites drew 0-0 in Bahrain and he played the full 90 minutes. Earlier this year, Elliot has appeared in a friendly against Jordan in Amman on Sept. 9 and also appeared in three matches during the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa last June.
Bahrain tied Saudi Arabia in two matches last month, 0-0 and 2-2, to earn the right to play New Zealand. The winner of the two-leg series earns a spot in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. New Zealand is looking for their first World Cup berth since the 1982 Finals.
If New Zealand wins, and reaches the 2010 World Cup, this would mark the first time an Earthquakes player would be represented in the world's showcase for soccer since Landon Donovan and Jeff Agoos represented the United States in the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea. The only other Earthquakes player to have appeared in a World Cup was Eric Wynalda, also for the United States, in 1998 in France.