Photo by ISIphotos.com
The long-rumored friendly between the United States and Italy appears to have come to fruition.
The Italian soccer federation announced that the Azzurri will host the United States at Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Genoa on Feb. 29, the first FIFA international fixture date of the new year. The match gives the Americans a chance to beat the Italians for the first time, as they own an 0-7-3 record all-time against the European power.
(UPDATE: U.S. Soccer has confirmed the friendly, which will be televised on ESPN2 at 2:45 p.m.)
The United States last played Italy during the group stage of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, a match that Italy won, 3-1, behind two second-half goals from New Jersey-born substitute Giuseppe Rossi. Landon Donovan had given the United States the lead with a first-half penalty kick that came minutes after a Ricardo Clark red card put the Americans down a man for the final 57 minutes of the game. Rossi won't be available to play in the February friendly, as he continues his recovery from a torn ACL.
The match will be the third for the U.S. national team in 2011 after friendlies against Venezuela and Panama later this month; however, it will be the first for which all first-choice players will be available for selection.
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