Nix quartet named to face World Cup quarter-finalists

Four members of the 2023-24 Wellington Phoenix squad have been called up to the Football Ferns for their upcoming internationals against Japan.

Centre back Mackenzie Barry, fullback Michaela Foster and midfielders Kate Taylor and Macey Fraser, now with Utah Royals, have been named in the 24-strong squad for the matches in Murcia, Spain.

All four played a key role in the Phoenix’s 2023-24 Liberty A-League season, helping guide Wellington to eighth place after two previous wooden spoon finishes.

Barry was crowned the Spark and OPPO women’s player at the club’s awards night last month, having been a rock at the back for the Nix.

Taylor was also influential in her third season with the Phoenix playing a new midfield role, while Foster has been rewarded for her performances with selection in the A-League All Stars for Friday night’s match against Arsenal FC in Melbourne.

Fraser shone in her first season as a professional in Wellington, scoring three goals and leading the Nix with five assists before securing a dream move to the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).

The Football Ferns’ first match against Japan is on Friday, May 31 (Saturday, June 1 NZT), with the second match on Tuesday, May 4 (Monday, May 3 NZT).

Both games kick-off at 2am NZT and will be broadcast on FIFA+.