Daniele de Rossi and Giuseppe Rossi
This is the match I’ve been waiting for since the tournament started. It’s not often that two teams this good would meet in anything other than the World Cup. Which is another reason you should love the Confederations Cup.
But Italy is playing like crap, you say. And Italy are notoriously slow starters and might just get burned by it this time. And you take the time to point out that should Italy lose, it could possibly not go through into the semi-finals. And, because you’re a homer, you point out that the US is still mathematically alive.
So, in descending order of ridiculousness: first, the US will not make it into the semi-finals. I sincerely doubt they’ll even get a point against Egypt. Which means the Pharaohs will win. (I’ll go ahead and pick a score of 2-1.) That gives the Pharaohs 6 points and a plus-1 goal differential.
Which brings us to Italy. If they lose, they and their kickin’ new jerseys and brown (brown!) shorts are out. I don’t think it’s true that they’re playing like crap; I think they took Egypt too lightly and got burned. It’s also true that they’re slow starters; but that can’t be an excuse now. So, they need a win (Italy has a goal differential of plus-1, therefore any win will give them a goal differential of plus-2 at least; problems arise if Egypt lays the hammer down on the US and blows them away). If they draw, they need to hope for an Egypt loss.
So, this is win or go home. And I think Italy will win. I’d like to think that there’s some form of Italian pride. I’d also like to think they learned their lesson from taking Egypt too lightly, which means they’ll come out with both barrels blazing. Which, to me, means Luca Toni joining Vincenzo Iaquinta or Alberto Gilardino up front. Giuseppe Rossi also needs to start. I would sit Fabio Cannavaro because he looked out of shape in the last match.
If all goes well and Italy catch some breaks, they’ll win 1-0 and receive the honor of losing to Spain in the semi-finals.
Giuseppe Rossi goal in the Confederations Cup (AP)
I’m talking to you, US fans. Those of you who have spewn venom at him, especially in light of his brace against the US yesterday, are crying over milk that has been spilled for 9 years. And it’s time for you to stop.
News flash: Giuseppe Rossi never intended to play for the US. Ever. Not when he was 10, not when he was 15, not when he was 18 and most definitely not when he 22. He never, ever played the US system for a fool: he was never part of the youth setup therefore he never used resources that could have gone to someone else. In fact, he and his father left the country when he was 13 so he could play professionally in Europe. And that’s the key: he never wanted to play for the US even though he was born in Clifton, NJ. He always wanted to play for Italy. How can you hate someone for following their dream? Other than being completely and totally irrational, that is.
Ives Galarcep, who run an excellent blog, wrote today that the US losing Rossi is different from, say, Germany losing Jermaine Jones because the US doesn’t have the talent Germany does. Factually, all of that is true. It is my opinion that the US is overrated in the FIFA rankings (currently 14th, likely lower after the Confederations Cup unless they beat Egypt). It is my opinion that Jermaine Jones might help the US but he won’t put the team over the top. Rossi, on the other hand, is better than Clint Dempsey and would offer far more in the attacking third of the pitch with Jozy Altidore and Landycakes. But does that justify hatred?
Ives doesn’t come down on one side or the other. He writes:
If you are a U.S. fan who hates Rossi, I won’t tell you not to, but I will say that you can feel free to take some of that energy and spend it on the American players who wore the USA shield on Monday.
He seems to want to have it both ways, which is his perogative. But that’s not my opinion. In my opinion, US fans would be far better off if they let it go and cheered on the players who want to pull the US jersey on. Rossi never has and never will play for the US. He’s made his choice and it can’t be un-made. It’s time to let that go and quit acting like the stalker girlfriend who won’t take no for an answer.