PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea – Sacramento Republic FC defender Kip Colvey made his full international debut and became just the second former Cal Poly men's soccer player to earn a senior international cap after starting the first two matches of the New Zealand Men's National Team's Oceania Nations Cup run.
Colvey, who appeared for New Zealand's U-23 Men's National Team last summer, started during both the All Whites' 3-1 win against Fiji (May 28) and 5-0 triumph versus Vanuatu (May 31). Entering Saturday's final group stage match versus the Solomon Islands, New Zealand has already clinched a spot in both the Nations Cup knockout round and the final round of Oceania's 2018 World Cup qualifying tournament.
The winner of the 2016 Oceania Nations Cup – which comprises eight countries split into two groups – earns a spot in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. Held in Russia, the 2017 Confederations Cup features the reigning champions of FIFA's six confederations, the host nation and defending World Cup champion Germany.
Overall, six total countries from the 2016 Nations Cup progress to the Oceania region's final round of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The Cal Poly program's other former player to make a senior international appearance is midfielder Junior Burgos (2009-10), a six-cap winner with El Salvador.
A four-year starter at Cal Poly (2012-15), Colvey completed his Mustang career as a 2015 All-Big West Conference first team selection and ranked sixth in program history with 74 appearances. San Jose Earthquakes then selected Colvey with the 49th overall pick in the 2016 Major League Soccer SuperDraft. He started during three of his four appearances with San Jose before joining third-tier Sacramento Republic.
Prior to arriving at Cal Poly, Colvey helped New Zealand reach the round of 16 at the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico.
As a program, Cal Poly opens its 2016 regular season on Friday, Aug. 26 at nationally ranked North Carolina.
Photo courtesy of Shane Wenzlick / Phototek