BRIAN SCIARETTA - Tuesday, June 1, 2010
The number of Americans playing in the World Cup this summer was reduced by one today as Giuseppe Rossi was cut from the Italian World Cup team by head coach Marcello Lippi.

Rossi, 23, was born in New Jersey to Italian born parents and famously turned down repeated requests to play for the United States in hopes to play for the country of his heritage.

In 2005 US head coach Bruce Arena tried to call Rossi in for a friendly against Scotland and Rossi declined. He also declined a World Cup invitation from Arena in 2006.

Rossi has continuously tried to play both sides of his dual nationalities.

In 2009, he admitted to that being considered an Italian player made things easier for him career-wise.

"I have always dreamed of being a professional player," Rossi told the website. "It is easier to do so in Italy."

Rossi has also made strange comments about feeling different emotions once he steps on the field and this has played a role in his choice.

"Off the field, I have always felt American. On the field I've always felt Italian," Rossi told ESPN last month.

Rossi played a role for the Italian team this cycle in World Cup qualifying and in the Confederations Cup where he scored two goals against a 10-man United States team. The Italians, however, failed to advance out of the group where the US went to the finals. His only other goal for Italy was against Northern Ireland in a friendly in Pisa.

If Rossi's overall dream is to play in a World Cup, his decision to play for Italy has backfired in a tremendous way. While he still has a chance to play for Italy in four years, he likely would have been a starter this summer for the United States up top with Jozy Altidore.

After watching both his countries play in the World Cup this summer on television, Rossi will focus on finding a club team after his contract with Villarreal runs out this summer. The American will try and hope to break into the Italian team once again as they prepare for Euro 2012 qualifying in the fall.
Big Chief
Wednesday June 2, 2010 12:18 am
USA all the WAY! I am still pissed off about the german hand ball in the quarterfinals two world cups ago. If we finish second in our group we will be seeing the germans again in the round of 16. And I'll Be There! Watch out for those sneaky italians, if they say something about your sister you could end up losing the final.
Tuesday June 1, 2010 10:13 pm
So, if you're watching the World Cup from your living room, what nationality do you feel best represents you, emotionally?

Tuesday June 1, 2010 9:49 pm
@Mike ~
I suppose they just look older and slower than they are! ;)
and yeah I know it wasn't WC but USA actually beat Spain last year and didn't need PK's to do it. We all know that anyone can win/lose on any given day... I'm still bitter about the 'makeup' red card(s) from '06 and of course I'm totally biased too (GO USA!). Anyway, I've got no love for the Azurri and their bland, negative brand of the game. They defend and defend, then slop in a goal and everyone thinks they're great. Rossi's decision doesn't bother me, his attitude and lack of respect for HIS country of origin does. I'm glad he's staying home.
Tuesday June 1, 2010 8:51 pm
@ Rob,

BTW the average age of Italian call up is only 28.2 yrs old, not too old really. The US call up average is 26. A lot has been made of the Italians being old but really only Cannavaro, Gattuso and Zambrotta are slowing down. The side still has plenty of quality and can beat anyone. It took the Spaniards PKs to get Italy out of Euro, but I like the way analysts alway underestimate and talk down Italy (especially the British who now have an Italian coach).
Big Chief
Tuesday June 1, 2010 8:35 pm
Jose Torres is from Longview, Texas. My youth team played often against his team while he was growing up, guested played for me. Great Kid. Not in the case of Jose but I understand the idea that nationality can be lost not only on soccer players but on federations as well. The USA as well as other federations have gone shopping when it comes to suiting up the national team. Players when approached by federations are human and are not taking up arms against the USA but are just trying to assure their professional success.
Tuesday June 1, 2010 8:22 pm
This guy made a very bad choice to play for Italy. They don't need another quality striker, especially an AMERICAN ONE. Their country is full of them!! He should have chosen the USA, because he would be starting up top with his old teamate at Villareal. With players like Subotic, Jones, Adu and Rossi, we coulda been contenda's!! Absolutely we would have a chance to WIN the WC with world class talent like these guys. I love our team, but common everyone........its winning it or coming close that counts!!! Its sad that the top brass of American soccer would let all these guys slip through the system. Can you be released from a national team to play for another??? Anybody know the FIFA rule book?
Pat Mc
Tuesday June 1, 2010 8:14 pm
yeah, like some others, I feel a little sorry for him, but much moreso gloating that he blew a chance at the world cup. he would definately start for the US side. As others mentioned, if his heart isn't in it, I don't want him. I want guys like Jay DeMerit, Tim Howard, Donovan, Pablo Mastroeni, Frankie H, guys that put on the colors and leave it all on the field.
Tuesday June 1, 2010 8:10 pm
@ Grady,

Humble pie. You're right about Torres; my bad, I didn't know the kid's story. I just don't think what Rossi did is all that bad all the same. His career his choice.
C. B.
Tuesday June 1, 2010 8:08 pm
ha ha ha ha ha ha.........Serves the traitor right. Karma is a *****
Tuesday June 1, 2010 7:45 pm
The kid grew up in New Jersey. Unless I've missed something, they still speak English at high schools in New Jersey. Fine by me if he decides to play for Italy but I've read enough of his quotes disrespecting US Soccer. I saw him celebrate scoring 2 goals against the USA (shorthanded BTW). He deserves and will receive no respect from me. I hope Italy goes deep enough into the tournament so that they can match up with the US again, at which time we will expose their old, slow team. Landon and the boys would've beat the crap out of them last time if no for some really tragically terrible refereeing.
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