If the Neven Subotic and Giuseppe Rossi dramas weren't enough, now we have the case of Giuseppe Nazzani as a potential new US player. Many US Soccer fans were caught off guard last week when they saw Giuseppe Nazzani of Bologna's reserve team listed on the roster for the upcoming US U-20 camp in Madrid.
The 18 year-old Nazzani often trains with the Bologna first team but plays his matches in Primavera (reserves) competition as a defender/midfielder.
According to sources in Bologna, he is a dual US-Italian citizen born to an American mother and an Italian father and is eligible for either the US or Italian youth teams since he just received his American passport. After losing the New Jersey born Giuseppe Rossi to the Italian national team, American fans are hoping Nazzani will make up for that loss.
He has yet to play for the Bologna first team this year and was previously believed to be under consideration for the Italian national youth team. Whether he was no longer in the running for an Italian spot or just chose to play for the US youth team instead is not yet known. A successful run out with the US U-20s could get the the Azzurrini coach's attention and start a tug-of-war for the young player.
Nazzani may have a tough time in his first US training camp since he reportedly barely speaks English (think David Regis in 1998). Regardless, coach Thomas Rongen now has a new option to consider when building the US youth defense and midfield to qualify for the 2009 U-20 World Cup in Egypt. The CONCACAF qualifying tournament qualifying will be played in January/February 2009 in Trinidad & Tobago, with the top two teams from each group qualifying for the final tournament.
All I can say is Benvenuto Giuseppe!