Baby comes before World Cup for Nelsen

AUCKLAND, May 8 (Reuters) - All Whites captain Ryan Nelsen could skip out on New Zealand during the World Cup because his wife is due to give birth to their second child during next month's tournament.

Nelsen's wife Monica is due the day before the July 11 World Cup final, and while New Zealand are likely to be long eliminated by then, the central defender said he would leave the tournament to attend the birth if the baby is premature.

"If it comes a couple of weeks early, it could be interesting," the Blackburn Rovers player told Wellington's Dominion Post newspaper. "If it did come early, I'd have to get on the plane and head straight home.

"There's nothing on this earth that would stop me from being there at my child's birth."

Nelsen was named New Zealand Football's player of the year on Friday after he guided the team to the June 11-July 11 tournament in South Africa.

New Zealand, who reached their second World Cup, and first in 28 years, have been drawn in Group F with champions Italy, Paraguay and Slovakia, with their final pool match on June 24.