Posted October 31, 2013

U.S.-born Giuseppe Rossi making up for lost time with hot start at Fiorentina

2014 World Cup, Italy, Serie A
Finally healthy, Giuseppi Rossi leads Serie A with nine goals for Fiorentina.

Finally healthy, Giuseppi Rossi leads Serie A with nine goals for Fiorentina. (Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

New Jersey-born and -bred striker Giuseppe Rossi missed nearly two years with knee injuries, but he is a man possessed these days for Fiorentina, where he leads the Italian league with nine goals in 10 games.

I spoke to Rossi this week, and he told me he’s excited about the possibility of playing in his first World Cup for Italy, but he’s focusing on not looking too far ahead. Rossi also called his recent hat-trick and come-from-behind 4-2 victory against Juventus the best moment he has ever had on a soccer field.

“I’m going to have to put that up top,” he told me, “because it’s something that players dream about, especially being here in Florence and playing against your archrival, Juventus. People in the stands were crying after the game as if we won the Champions League.”

The Italian league has more buzz in the U.S. this season, not least because the games have been entertaining and producing more goals than we’re accustomed to seeing in Serie A.

“I think the level of play, maybe more technically than tactically, got better,” Rossi said. “The players that were brought in probably made it a little better. I think it’s a positive, because the past few years the Italian league hasn’t been as nice to watch as the other leagues probably. You’ve seen how Germany has been taking over and how England has been the league to watch. I’m glad Italy is slowly becoming nicer to watch, and I think with time it’s going to get even better.”

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Rossi said he’s grateful to his physical therapist and to his surgeon for getting him back on the field, and he recently got recalled to the Italian national team. Right now he’s looking like the buy of the season in Italy for Fiorentina.

“I feel like I’m slowly getting back to it,” Rossi said when asked if he’s back to where he was pre-injuries. “After Mario Gómez got injured, I’m starting to play all by myself up top. I’m more comfortable with another striker at my side, but hopefully Mario will be back, and by having an extra player at my side that’s when I’ll probably feel more like the old me where I’ll be playing the same way I used to before I got injured.”

It’s a great comeback story for a player whose career was in some doubt just a year ago.

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16 comments
RomarioDelLago
RomarioDelLago

Who cares?  Dude's a traitor anyway.  Why would we (at all) give a care what this weiner is doing?

OscarM
OscarM

I just skipped to the comments. Why do you continue highlighting this guy?? We don't care to read about Italians!

Moooooose
Moooooose

Glad to see the soccer traitor is healing up.  While I don't wish ill on anyone, he is also somebody that will be forever dead to me as a soccer player.

SpenserCammack
SpenserCammack

Good story, and I actually hope he makes the WC squad IF they are not in the same group as the USA.

RickPotts
RickPotts

Better knock on wood, Rossi.  I'd wish you good luck and congratulations but I'd be lying through my teeth that I actually meant it.......

Matthew53
Matthew53

@OscarM  

Yes, because its just a yawn boring story about a player who fought through not one but two blown out knees to return to the field, continuing playing at a high level (leading Serie A in scoring must be nothing), and continue his dream of playing soccer. 

 Maybe TMZ is a better site for you. What's Kim, Khloe, Lamar, and the rest of the train wreck family doing? 

Matthew53
Matthew53

@Moooooose  

Then I guess you count nearly half the US national Team members since its founding as the US has HEAVILY relied on non-Americans to fill the ranks. 

RickPotts
RickPotts

Who made you the official Rossi apologist for this page?  Define "heavily" in your statement above.  Your comparison of Rossi's situation to the US/Euro's is very different.  All of the players that came from Europe, mostly Germany, would never have played or starred for those national teams.  Rossi, on the other hand, was a sure shot starter star to be for the US and he snubbed the US for Italy.  Very different circumstances.

RickPotts
RickPotts

Subotic and Rossi can go give each other handies for all I care.  Subotic isn't even starting for Serbia.  Great choice there.  And your assumption that I have the same mentality as 3rd world murderers fron Haiti dosen't help your argument either.  None of the former US players you stated above would have stared for their other national teams.  Playing for the US was probably their only hope of getting to a WC.  Thanks for the history lessen.  Still think Rossi is a tool.

Matthew53
Matthew53

@RickPotts  

 Ever hear of Joe Gaetjens? 

 Probably not. He's a Haitian who played for their NT before playing in the 1950 WC with the US, scoring the lone goal in the match against England. His playing for the US after already playing for Haiti, led to his murder back home shortly after the Cup. Guess had you been alive back then, you would have been right there cheering on his murderers. 

 Did you know that BOTH Di Stefano and Puskas both played for national teams years after they were extensively capped by their birth nations? Guess you hate them too. 

Are you sad that Neven Subotic isn't playing for the US? I bet you are.

Thomas Dooley (former USMNT captain), Freddy Adu, Jeff Agoos, Juan Agudelo, John Brooks, Timmy Chandler, Jermaine Jones, Fabian Johnson, Terrance Boyd, Mikkel Diskerud, Benny Feilhaber, Stuart Holden, Aron Johannsen (at least was born here before becoming an Icelandic citizen then picking the US due to their better chances at the WC....kind of like Rossi..mmmmmm). And those are just the ones off the top of my head. There's more, there's a lot more. And I am not even looking at the 1930 squad or the other early squads which could nearly have qualified as the 2nd squads of Ireland and Scotland. 

 Recruiting players not born here has been a staple of the USMNT since its inception. Many, many, many players who have earned a cap with the US were not born here and used the very same FIFA loophole allowing you to pick the nation where your parents were born...for Rossi that's Italy. 

Now you know.

 

RickPotts
RickPotts

@winger0611  You have made excellent points to your argument.  Well done.  Rossi is certainly free to do whatever he desires.  However, every decision carries with it certain consequences.  The way I feel, and I am not alone, is a consequence of his decision.  You seem to have a much higher opinion of Italy's chances of winning the WC than I do.  And finally, yes, I do consider Rossi to be a traitor of sorts to the US soccer community.  He, his dad and the horse they rode in on can go f**k themselves. 

winger0611
winger0611

@RickPotts Oh and realize this.  For every success that Rossi has, he proves that the US can produce world class attackers.  Which opens doors in Europe for the next Rossi who WILL play for the US.

winger0611
winger0611

@RickPotts - Last time I checked, Aron Johansson, John Anthony Brooks, and Julian Green are all guys who could play for other countries.  Yet we are welcoming them with open arms.  Last time I checked it's a free country and Rossi has a chance to WIN a World Cup with Italy versus just trying to get out of the group stages with us.  Nevermind the fact that he has trained out of the country since his teen days and that his Dad was a die-hard Azurri fan since before he was born.  I don't hold it against him and would rather just cheer on the guys that we do have.  And stop with the Snowden comparison.  That is just immature, as what Rossi did is hardly a national security issue...

Matthew53
Matthew53

@RickPotts @Matthew53 

So you have no issues at all about the government violating your rights and your privacy by illegally reading your emails and listening to your phone calls?  

If so then you'll give up your rights one by one till you find yourself with NO rights sooner than you think.