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.
Charlie G.
Tuesday June 1, 2010 5:04 pm
Give me Charlie Davies any day !

Why do USMNT supporters regret the loss of a player who dind't hold playing for the U.S. as an honor, and not some sort of career advancement strategy. I'd rather the U.S. lose than to have players who don't give their hearts for the team.
Tuesday June 1, 2010 4:42 pm
Okay, I am not going to gloat on this one. Well maybe a little. Yessss!
I know the arugument is getting old on him, but he honestly is not a Yank Abroad. You can call him a ex-pat abroad if you like, but the term "Yank" is specifially meant to mean someone who's loyalties lie with the US National team.
Many people try to compare his decision with the decision made by JFT, but they are much different. His decision seems based on his heritage. While JFT based this on both his country of birth and the country of his mother. The decision also seemed a bit more difficult for JFT since Mexico was the birth country of his father and a country that embraced JFT. While many Mexicans may not like that JFT plays for their most hated rival the US at least they do not look upon him as being a traitor given the ties he has to the US. Also, JFT has said that if he scored a goal against Mexico he would not celebrate. Whether you agree or disagree with that, it shows he has class and respect.
Many Americans look upon Rossi in a different light. With his decision, he has essentially said the only loyatly he has to this country is due to his birth. He has also shown that his carrer is of upmost importance. Seeing him on the cover of a magazine with a soccer that has a US flag on it just turns my stomach. Especially after seeing him celebrate his goals against the US at the Confederations Cup.
No, he is no Yank Abroad he merely hold US Citizenship.
Tuesday June 1, 2010 4:36 pm
Good for him & his daddy. They can both keep dreaming of playing for the Azuri. But even funnier to me is I'm not sure he would have made the US team this year either.
Tuesday June 1, 2010 4:33 pm
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha... oh boy, ha ha ha ha ha lol...

hope he chokes on an italian sandwich while watching the US advance out of their group in a few weeks!
Tuesday June 1, 2010 4:31 pm
Serves him right.. He should play for the USA to show Italy who's boss:).
BC Britten
Tuesday June 1, 2010 4:29 pm
I feel so much better. He should not have turned his back on his country. Feels American? Ha. Justice makes me smile!!
Ivan Drago
Tuesday June 1, 2010 4:21 pm
Couldn't have happened to nicer guy....
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