Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Benedict Arnold. Meet Giuseppe Rossi.

This picture (via The Offside Rules) provides a pretty decent summary of my reaction to the U.S. national team's 3-1 loss to Italy today. The vicious traitor pictured above, the New Jersey born and raised striker Giuseppe Rossi, dropped two goals in the second half of the U.S-Italy match to bury his country of birth (Rossi spurned the U.S. team to play for Italy, his father's native country).

A bogus red card to Rico Clark in 1st half left the US with little chance of winning and despite scoring first thanks to a great effort by Jozy Altidore to draw a PK, Rossi managed one incredible shot, Daniele De Rossi (the same man who elbowed Brian McBride in the face in 2006) beat Tim Howard later in the half, and the villain of the night Rossi hit the jugular in stoppage time to send the azzurri to victory (and reignite my hatred of the Italian national team).

Before the match, I thought if Rossi scored against the U.S. he might not celebrate. Maybe a solitary fist pump, but out of deference for the country that raised him he'd jog back to the half way line and keep playing. This is not what happened. With arms raised Rossi slapped his country of birth across the face with an overzealous celebration and stomped on all the Americans who had defended him and pulled for him throughout his career. Sure anyone would be thrilled to score a goal in a major soccer tournament, but to draw blood and then twist the knife in the sides of U.S. soccer fans was cruel and I thought Rossi should have shown more respect to the country that accepted him and his family.

The match was a part of the Confederation's Cup being contested now in South Africa. A perfect tune-up to the 2010 World Cup, check out the US take on Kaka and Brazil on Thursday.

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