Monday, June 15, 2009

Leave Giuseppe Rossi Alone!


At the risk of inciting a riot, I couldn't resist. I'm mean like that sometimes, especially when my son hasn't been sleeping!

I know, I know, the wound is still fresh, but it's still worth defending Mr. Rossi for a moment. I mean, he scored two lovely goals today, aided by some awful defending, and if we're honest, the sole reason we're all angry is because of who he scored against. Yeah, he did it against the country in which he was born and all, but can we really blame him for his decision?

You know the wikipedia page; born in Teaneck, NJ, taught soccer by his Italian father, and then they moved to Italy when he was offered a place on Parma's youth team. From there he went to Old Trafford for three seasons, spent some time on loan to Newcastle United and Parma again, and then moved to Villareal in 2007.

So far, the only thing that makes him obligated to play for the US is that he was born here; Rossi played all of his football abroad, represented the Italians on every youth team (U-16, U-17, U-18, U-21), and aside from one mild courtship attempt by Bruce Arena in 2006, has been focused on Italy his entire life.

I mean, he joined Parma's youth team at age 13! It seemed as if the USMNT only really paid attention once he'd thrived elsewhere and another country and coaching system had done all the hard work for them.

Rossi declined the invite to training camp, and is it any wonder he chose who he did? Even if the Italians hadn't been courting him for all those formative years, and the choice was on paper a more even one, it's tough to see him choosing the US over the current World Champions.

At this point, the Teaneck, NJ factoid will go down in history as one of soccer's fun tidbits of information amid the larger legend; 23 in 57 games for Villareal, 11 in 22 for the Italian U-21, and now 3 in 5 for the full national side. Marcello Lippi wanted him called up for the 2010 WC Qualifiers, but injuries kept him out. Now that they're blooding him during the Confederations Cup, I'm sure he'll play an integral role in the Azzurri's push to defend their World Cup trophy in South Africa next summer.

So give the kid a break, and focus the rage, less than an hour old, on the fact that the American center-backs were rubbish today, and why their was so much room for the Italians to roam and rampage in the midfield. Channel the ire upon Bradley sr for his coaching style, or Landon Donovan for being so fucking unlikeable, or for Jozy Altidore's left-footed profligacy in front of goal.

Simply put: Giuseppe Rossi was never, ever, ever going to play for the USMNT. It was never on the cards, not least because he was never on US Soccer's radar until it was much too late.

Now, can we move on? Big games against Brazil and Egypt coming up!

27 comments:

The Fan's Attic said...

It seemed as if the USMNT only really paid attention once he'd thrived elsewhere and another country and coaching system had done all the hard work for them.

Isn't that how it always works?

The national teams of other countries don't develop the players. They just select the players. That said, the US probably could have done more to recruit him, but he was probably always going to play for Italy. Oh well...at least we have a bogeyman now.

Precious Roy said...

Can we blame him? Not really.

Doesn't mean we can't hate the fucker.

Monty said...

We can still be angry about allowing two goals from 1/4 of the field's length away, right?

phil said...

YEAGA BAWMBS!

The Likely Lad said...

i guarantee when his shitty soccer career ends, he'll come crawling back here.

...that's it, giussepe rossi has brought out the nativist in me.

phil said...

That said, "the US centerbacks were bad" is nmot true. ONE of them was bad, and that was Gooch.

And he's been bad. No solution to this problem. Why? US Soccer refuses to acknowledge there's a problem in the middle of the pitch with Nike trademarks Bocanegra and Gooch. Both need to be replaced. One, Bocanegra, is easily replaceable, as we saw today, with Jay Demerit. So you find a replacement for Gooch. He's tentative with players coming at him (like Rossi on both his goals)and he's shit in the air, as he's shown on numerous set pieces where he's sent passes straight into the air instead of at goal.

At mid field, there's no reason why Torres didn't find his way into the pitch. He's the most creative player on the pitch when he's on, but Bradley can't find a spot for him. So much for Bob Bradley. Gotta get him on.

Here's the best XI the USA can field, IMO:
-----Howard------------------------
Spector--Gooch--Demerit--Bornstein
-----Clark-------------------------
Torres----Bradley----Donovan
Dempsey
Altidore

But it's obvious Bradley doesn't know his players, or is so beholden to US Soccer that he plays certain players at the expense of the team's success. Perhaps that's fallaciously dichotomous, but I just don't see a third option.

This team has problems, Giuseppe Rossi is not one of them, but that doesn't mean he's not a YEAG BAWMB-ing, striped shit douchebag like the rest of the Jersey detritus.

The Likely Lad said...

actually, just realized i only reaaally root for the USA in soccer and olympic hockey (in iraq and afghanistan, i just want everyone off the pitch before more of our players get hurt.)

Precious Roy said...

I thought Gooch has generally been much better for the USMNT over the past handful of appearances.

He was wrong-footed on the second goal and I don't think he could have just stuck out his left foot like Harkes claimed he should have.

Blame the pussy at the top of the box who turned his body away from the shot. Who was that? Demerit? Bradley? Couldn't see.

I'm not sold on Torres. Have yet to see him make a genuine impact on the game. After Honduras, I want to see Clark get more of a run out. Think the straight red was a bad call, but think he's already a better player for it (assuming he learns from the incident).

The Fan's Attic said...

That was DeMerit, unfortunately.

30f said...

I don't blame Rossi one bit for choosing Italy. What is he supposed to do, pick the country that will struggle in CONCACAF or a team always a threat to be world champs? Rossi made the right decision. I am not even angry he made the logical choice and went with the Azurri. I am frustrated that the US isn't a reasonable option. The USMNT is not very good and seems unlikely to be much better any time soon. WWRD?

On that note, doesn't Freddy Adu wish he had chosen playing for Ghana versus getting jerked around by Bradley the Elder? Isn't it the coach's job to play the best players and win rather than excluding those who don't act like 'try hard' college intra-mural players?

Until 'well, we tried hard and the coach has the team spirits high' is no longer good enough, it is all we're gonna get.

The Fan's Attic said...

yeah, adu's not playing for ghana just like he isn't playing for benfica, monaco or USMNT.

phil said...

Torres was the only impact player vs. Costa Rica. He deserves to be on the pitch. He might be the only truly creative player on the USMNT.

Demerit was the player who turned his back on the shot. Perhaps he was weary of being the physical presence that Gooch is supposed to be.

Clark needs to get more time. He's the only mid the USMNT have that can play holding role. The red today was harsh, but, like you say, PR, hopefully he learns from it.

jjf3 said...

I'm with you, LB. (About to start watching the game on the DVR, so I'm sure I'll still be pissed in two hours...)

His father named him Guiseppe for a reason, even if he was born here. He had a dream of his son playing for the Azzuri, and the kid, by pure accident of genetics, willpower, and connections, got signed by Parma at an early age, long before "playing for the USA" could have even truly meant anything to him. Much like Tiger Woods, he was raised to fill a father's dream, and he's lucky he's been able to do so (see: Marinovich, Todd). The kid does not deserve the hatred/disgust he gets from Americans. The hatred/disgust should come from nothing more than him being an Italian player. Adding any "traitor"/"letting down the US" component to said hatred is delusional/ignorant/disingenous/xenophobic.

The TJK said...

Pretty sure the only thing worth discussing about this game is the horrendous red-card decision. Up to that point the US were matching up well against an old Italy squad, and after that we were definitely going be exposed. Rossi is a class player and Gooch/Demerit probably would've looked better had they not lost part of their cover after 30min.

jjf3 said...

Oh, and thanks to both you and BD for the liveblogs! Between you two and the Iran insanity, I think I was successfully totally unproductive today...

30f said...

TFA - I hear you. Who knows what is up with Adu. The difference with the managers at Benfica and Monaco is that if they want someone else, they can go get them. I don't think there is anyone else on a USSF roster with the attacking creativity and ability that FAdu has. I don't doubt that the kid has an ego and probably doesn't get back much on defense, but ...

Isn't it Bradley's job to get him to do those things? Especially since creativity in attack is by far the emptiest shelf in the USMNT's cupboard? I bet the Swedish Natl Team coach is annoyed by Ibra, but the dude still plays - otherwise the media and fans would raise a ruckus. We don't have any other 'danger' options unless Bradley can convince the Deuce that he is actually dressing for Fulham and not the USMNT.

jjf3 said...

Fucking A. Just watched the Clark tackle repeatedly. It a deserved straight red by the rules. That said, its a crap call by the referee.
This is the first game of an international tournament, and to red him on his first questionable tackle of the game, without warning (and it wasn't like he scissorred him, which is evil), just seems harsh...had he made any questionable/warnable offenses before, I'd say yes, he's gone. But that seems harsh...

That said, 1) Clark will likely always be a loose cannon. He is not a composed professional, and I will be surprised if he EVER is. 2) Fuck US Soccer for allowing absolutely horrific refereeing to continue in MLS. I've seen Clark get away with worse after warnings. And, yes, there's been a crack-down this year, but this isn't fucking American football, you morons...enforce the rules, and back your refs when they make proper calls (and shit-can them when they do things like taking signed jerseys from players after games). What a fucking joke...

That said, I'll stick by my Spector-Onyewu-DeMerit-Boca back line until they suck ass.

And I have no freaking idea how to improve this team unless US Soccer gives up the college model and tells teens to go overseas instead. See: Rossi, Guisseppe, or even Cooper, Kenny, who is so much more decisive than Jozy right now (yes, not always successfully, but he doesn't pass when he can score).

And there goes most of half-time...

ΓΌ75 said...

Fuck you too, LB. You're like Aaddam colluding with the Taliban and Al Qaeda about 9/11.

NEVAR FORGET

Mike Georger said...

Let's be honest, would he be half the player he is today had he spent all his youth national days learning under the American coaches?

Spectator said...

Ha, my new favorite meme.... Rossi has defected to Italy, the terrorists have won.

jjf3 said...

Holy fuck, how was that challenge on Landycakes in the box NOT a penalty????

Spectator said...

Re: the red card. Ginger Lalas made a good point on one of the ESPN post-game shows I saw. Which is that it's a good learning experience to realize that the USMNT will never get the benefit of 50-50 calls against a team like Italy, and that they have to respond accordingly.

jjf3 said...

My point of my bitching about the refs in MLS...Clark is dangerous in the MLS, which means he's begging for a card on the world stage...

Dustin said...

Just a suggestion, don't bother listening to Lalas, he really doesn't know what he's talking about.

In other news a tackle which endangers the safety of the opponent must be called serious foul play and must be a red card.

Ricardo Clark has a history of this, remember his kick to Ruiz and his 9 game ban. He's a little nuts.

Army of Dad said...

To me, that tackle should have been a yellow. It looks like he kicked out, but used the laces of his shoe-not his studs. It is a reckless foul and is a cautionable offense. Though if the ref thinks that was serious foul play then the elbow to Donavan should have been violent conduct. Leading with the forearm/elbow into the soft parts of the neck or face is a straight red!


Oh and I think I will start hating Rossi now. I understand his decision and still choose to hate him, especially since he scored a brace against us.

Hannah said...

Well said I agree. He should be left alone.

Amanda C said...

I completely agree. I think that Rossi made a smart choice professionally and played where he was passionate. Good for him.