- Associated Press - Friday, May 26, 2017

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - England-based striker Chris Wood will captain New Zealand during its build-up to next month’s Confederations Cup.

Wood, who won the golden boot with 24 goals for Leeds in England’s second-tier League Championship this season, takes over from West Ham defender Winston Read, who is unavailable with a knee injury.

New Zealand coach Anthony Hudson on Friday named a 23-man squad for matches against Northern Ireland, Dublin club side Carbinteely FC and Belarus ahead of New Zealand’s first Confederations Cup match against Russia on June 17 in St. Petersburg.

Hudson said Wood deserved his promotion to the captaincy and would “lead the team as he always does, with pride and strong performances.”

New Zealand’s final Confederations Cup squad will be named after the match against Belarus but Hudson said he did not expect many changes.

“I am excited and quietly optimistic about our chances in Russia,” Hudson said. “I feel that we go into this tournament in a really strong position.”

Hudson has encouraged the New Zealand players to reject the underdog tag regularly applied to them in major international competitions.

“We have a huge amount of respect for previous teams and what has been done before us, but this team wants to go to this tournament and make history,” he said. “We are not going to shy away from that.

“We want to go further than any New Zealand team has ever gone. We want to play some good football and make the country proud.”

Hudson’s squad includes forward Kosta Barbarouses, who missed New Zealand’s World Cup qualifying matches against Fiji, and Australia-based defender Storm Roux, who has not played for New Zealand since 2015. Dane Ingham, who made his debut against Fiji when he was 17, has been retained.

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New Zealand squad:

Goalkeepers: Stefan Marinovic (Unterhaching), Tamati Williams (RKC Waalwijk), Glen Moss (Newcastle Jets)

Defenders: Andrew Durante (Wellington Phoenix), Thomas Doyle (Wellington Phoenix), Storm Roux (Central Coast Mariners), Michael Boxall (SuperSport United), Kip Colvey (San Jose Earthquakes), Themi Tzimopoulos (PAS Giannina), Deklan Wynne (Vancouver Whitecaps), Sam Brotherton (Sunderland), Tommy Smith (Ipswich), Dane Ingham (Brisbane Roar)

Midfielders: Bill Tuiloma (Marseille), Clayton Lewis (Auckland City), Michael McGlinchey (Wellington Phoenix), Ryan Thomas (PEC Zwolle), Marco Rojas (Melbourne Victory), Alex Rufer (Wellington Phoenix)

Forwards: Chris Wood (Leeds), Monty Patterson (Ipswich), Shane Smeltz (Wellington Phoenix), Kosta Barbarouses (Wellington Phoenix)

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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