All White playing for his future in Peru
All Whites defender Kip Colvey is not just playing for a ticket to the World Cup, he is playing for his future too.
The 23-year-old played the full 90 minutes in New Zealand’s 0-0 draw against Peru in Wellington on Saturday and is a good chance to start at right wingback again, in the second leg in Lima tomorrow.
It is quite remarkable really, because even though Colvey has played 14 times for his country now, he did not even get on the field for his club, San Jose Earthquakes, during the 2017 Major League Soccer season.
In fact, after making four appearances the first seven games of the previous campaign, his first season as a professional football player, Colvey has been restricted to sitting on the bench in MLS or being loaned out to San Jose’s affiliate club Reno 1868, in the second-tier United Soccer League.
Colvey, who was born in Hawaii but grew up in the Marlborough Sounds, is off contract next year.
San Jose do have the option to extend his current deal but as far as he is concerned, his future is up in the air.
Which means there is plenty of extra incentive to showcase his abilities against Peru - a team ranked 10th in the world - not that he really needed it.
‘‘It’s definitely good to put yourself in the shop window,’’ Colvey admitted.
‘‘You’re always playing for your job whenever you take the field. I have an option for next year so hopefully the Quakes pick it up.
‘‘Right now I’m just focusing on this and getting to the World Cup, and this is my main goal for next year.
‘‘Not getting first team minutes was a bit of an issue for me this year and there is a big difference between playing in the USL to going into an international competitive match but I feel like I’ve worked a lot in the last couple of weeks and months so I think that I’m ready.’’
With his family flying up from Linkwater to join more than 37,000 other spectators in the stands on Saturday, Colvey said he soaked up the big occasion as best he could, as he walked out with his team-mates on to Westpac Stadium.
Both teams were greeted with a haka in the players’ tunnel before passing a collage featuring some of New Zealand’s best moments on the football field; Rory Fallon’s goal against Bahrain, Winston Reid’s goal against Slovakia and Shane Smeltz’s goal against Italy, to name a few.
Along with those images were the three words; never say die.
Colvey said those three words symbolised the ‘‘Kiwi attitude’’.
‘‘It’s a long, long time since the 2010 World Cup, so it’s been a motto around the team for a long time and I think it does sum up a big part of the team.’’
By keeping a clean sheet in the first game, Colvey believed the All Whites have put themselves in a strong position for the second game. Now they just have to back it up in Lima with a scoring draw or a win.
‘‘That’s what we wanted going into that game so we are happy with that,’’ he said.
‘‘We always knew that we could go toe-to-toe with a team like this and we showed that.
‘‘We’ll take that one step further in Peru.’’
All Whites defender Kip Colvey lunges in to win the ball off Peru’s Christian Cueva in Wellington.