Manager: Ricki Herbert
Best: Round one (1982)
For a tiny nation of just 4.3 million to have dominated world rugby over many decades can't have left too much of its athletic resources for soccer. The All Whites (the reverse of the rugby team known as the All Blacks, both named for the color of their jerseys) have only once previously made it to the World Cup in 1982, where they served as whipping boys, conceding 12 goals in their three group games (though they did manage two goals against the always accommodating Scotland). And while the scorelines will be less embarrassing, they're not expected to fare much better this time around. Captain Ryan Nelsen, the Blackburn Rovers defender who is the only player on the New Zealand squad to ply his trade at a top tier club in Europe, will have a monumental task in organizing his defense to keep the likes of Antonio Di Natale at bay, while Chris Killen, a second-string striker at Middlesbrough will have it all to do up front. Still, some of the younger players such as West Bromwich Albion's 18-year-old striker Chris Wood may take the opportunity to make a name for themselves.
Player to watch: Ryan Nelsen. Like Davy Crockett at the Alamo, expect to see him marshaling an heroic defense against hopeless odds.