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Clint Dempsey

U.S. MNT Faces Four-Time World Cup Champion Italy on Wednesday in Genoa


U.S. SET FOR FOUR-TIME WORLD CUP CHAMPION ITALY: The U.S. Men’s National Team prepares for its first match in a little more than a month as it faces four-time World Cup champion Italy on Wednesday, Feb. 29, at Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Genoa, Italy. Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN2, ESPN3 and Galavision.

Fans can also follow the game via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer.

Game Guide
Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. ET
Maximum Subs: 6
Referee: Firat Aydinus (TUR)
Assistants: Serkan Ok (TUR), Aleks Tascioglu (TUR)
Fourth official: Andrea De Marco (ITA)

U.S. MNT 2012 Schedule

Date

Opponent

Result / Time (ET)

U.S. goalscorers

Venue

TV

Jan. 21

Venezuela

1-0 W

Ricardo Clark

Univ. of Phoenix Stadium; Glendale, Ariz.

ESPN3/Galavision

Jan. 25

Panama

1-0 W

Graham Zusi

Estadio Rommel Fernandez; Panama City, Panama

ESPN3/Galavision

Feb. 29

Italy

2:30 p.m.

Stadio Luigi Ferraris; Genoa

ESPN2/ESPN3/Galavision

May 26

Scotland

8 p.m.

EverBank Field; Jacksonville, Fla.

NBC Sports Network

May 30

Brazil

8 p.m.

FedExField; Landover, Md.

ESPN2/ESPN3/Univision

June 3

Canada

7 p.m.

BMO Field; Toronto

NBC Sports Network

June 8

Antigua & Barbuda*

7 p.m.

Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.

ESPN/ESPN3/Univision

June 12

Guatemala*

TBD

Sept. 7

Jamaica*

TBD

Sept. 11

Jamaica*

TBD

Oct. 12

Antigua & Barbuda*

TBD

Oct. 16

Guatemala*

TBD

*2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying

U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION – DETAILED ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (6): Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaelland), Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund), Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Brek Shea (FC Dallas)

ROSTER NOTES

  • The U.S. has collected three consecutive victories, including a pair of shutout wins against Venezuela and Panama to open the 2012 campaign. In addition to providing a series of activities designed to develop individual player pathways, Klinsmann has given 41 players at least one cap through his nine games as head coach.
  • A total of 12 players return from the group that defeated Slovenia 3-2 in Ljubljana, including all three goalscorers: Edson Buddle, Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore
  • The goal was Dempsey's 24th career strike, tying him for fourth all-time in goals scored for the United States along with Joe-Max Moore. The 2011 U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year is having a record-setting season at Fulham, his 16 goals in all competitions include two hat tricks.
  • In the Slovenia match, U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra earned his 100th career cap
  • Michael Bradley is the lone U.S. international playing in Italy, becoming a fixture in the lineup for Chievo in Serie A since moving there this summer. Bradley has started 22 straight league matches, and was named Man of the Match in the 1-0 win against Genoa last weekend.
  • Jozy Altidore and Steve Cherundolo remain involved in Europa League action, as AZ Alkmaar and Hannover have reached the Round of 32.
  • Eight leagues in seven different countries are represented on the roster.
  • Klinsmann added midfielder Sacha Kljestan and forward Brek Shea to the U.S. roster after Timmy Chandler (left hamstring strain), Landon Donovan (bronchitis) and Jose Torres (right hamstring strain) were forced to withdraw from the squad.
  • Midfielder Jermaine Jones, who captained the U.S.’s first two 1-0 victories against Venezuela and Panama earlier this year, was forced to withdraw from Wednesday’s match because of a right calf strain.
  • Shea originally was named to the U-23 MNT for its game against Mexico’s U-23s on Wednesday in Frisco, Texas. But the FC Dallas forward will be with the senior team and has a chance to continue his streak of playing in every game with Klinsmann at the helm. Shea has started in seven matches and entered as a sub in two games.
  • Goalkeeper Brad Guzan makes his debut in a camp under Klinsmann. Guzan last appeared for the U.S. in a 1-0 victory against South Africa on Nov. 17, 2010, in the Nelson Mandela Challenge.
  • Terrence Boyd is the only player on the roster who will seek to earn his first cap. The Borussia Dortmund-based striker has been a regular part of the U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team. Boyd originally was named to the U-23 roster heading into the team’s Feb. 29 match against Mexico in Frisco, Texas, but he had not joined the team yet.
  • Goalkeeper Nick Rimando was named to Klinsmann’s roster again. He had 45 shutout minutes during the USA’s 1-0 win against Panama earlier this year and was named Budweiser Man of the Match ( highlights).
  • Four players on the U.S. roster are age-eligible for the 2012 London Olympics: Jozy Altidore, Boyd, Shea and Danny Williams. Six former Olympics from the 2008 Beijing Olympics are on Klinsmann’s current roster.
  • Jurgen Klinsmann returns to his old home ground, having played at local club Sampdoria in 1997.

USA VS. ITALY SERIES

  • The U.S. is 0-7-3 all-time against Italy, with the series starting on May 27, 1934, in the FIFA World Cup in Rome. Italy won that match 7-1.
  • Though Italy has dominated the series, the USA has posted three draws in the past six meetings. The most recent stalemate was a 1-1 decision on June 17, 2006, at the FIFA World Cup in Kaiserslautern, Germany.
  • That game included a topsy-turvy first 47 minutes. Italy’s Alberto Gilardino scored a 22nd-minute goal, but Christian Zaccardo put one into his own net to put the USA on the board at 1-1 in the 27th minute. Italy’s Daniele De Rossi was ejected for elbowing U.S. forward Brian McBride in the face in the 28th minute, briefly giving the USA a one-man advantage. But U.S. midfielder Pablo Mastroeni was shown red in the 45th minute on a two-footed challenge against Italy’s Andrea Pirlo. The second half opened with 10 vs. 10, but the U.S. went down to nine men when Eddie Pope was shown a second yellow card in the 47th minute for a challenge against Gilardino. Despite being shorthanded, U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller made two big saves in the final 20 minutes to preserve the draw.
  • The U.S. hosted Italy for the first time on May 30, 1984, for a friendly in East Rutherford, N.J. The two sides played to a scoreless draw – the first draw from the USA after opening the series with four losses from 1934 to 1952.
  • The U.S. and Italy last met on June 15, 2009, in the FIFA Confederations Cup in Pretoria, South Africa. Landon Donovan gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead when he converted a penalty in the 41st minute, but the defending Confederations Cup champs scored three unanswered goals for the 3-1 victory. Italy’s Giuseppe Rossi had goals in the 58th minute and four minutes into second-half stoppage time, while De Rossi had the go-ahead goal in the 72nd minute. Italy’s offense peppered the net with 13 shots on goal, and U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard had 10 saves on the day.
  • Italy is 3-0-0 when the team hosts the U.S., 0-0-2 in USA-hosted matches and 4-0-1 on neutral sites.

KLINSMANN ON PLAYING IN ITALY: “I’m excited about getting everybody together and challenging a world-class team like former World Cup winner Italy on their home soil. I think we have put a very competitive roster together. This roster was co-developed with the U-23 team because we wanted them to have a great preparation game before they go into Olympic Qualifying in March. Our roster is highly competitive and ready to give Italy a real fight.”

LEAP YEAR RARITY: The U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams both are gearing up for Leap Year matches, with the U.S. Men facing Italy in Genoa and the U.S. Women against Denmark to open the 2012 Algarve Cup. There has been only one Feb. 29 match in the history of U.S. Soccer. In 2004, the U.S. Women defeated Mexico 2-0 in the final Group B match of CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying in San Jose, Costa Rica. The USA benefited from a Maria Castillo own goal in the 10th minute and U.S. forward Abby Wambach tallied a goal in the 26th minute. The U.S. shut out a Mexico side that had scored 13 goals in the previous two matches.

USA HOSTING BRAZIL ON MAY 30: The U.S. Men are lining up the World Cup powerhouses in this year’s itinerary. Three months after Wednesday’s tilt with four-time FIFA World Cup champion Italy, the U.S. faces five-time World Cup champion Brazil at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, May 30, at FedExField in Landover, Md. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2, ESPN3 and Univision.

SUNSHINE STATE SLATE: The U.S. travels to Florida for two critical matches heading into the summer, hosting Scotland on May 26 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla. (8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network), and taking on Antigua and Barbuda for the first time to open FIFA World Cup Qualifying at 7 p.m. ET June 8 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. (ESPN, ESPN3, Univision).

U.S. BOUND FOR CANADA ON JUNE 3: In their final tune-up match before 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying, the U.S. Men take on Canada at 7 p.m. ET June 3 at BMO Field in Toronto. It will mark the USA’s first meeting on Canadian soil since Nov. 9, 1997, when the U.S. blanked Canada 3-0 in Vancouver to clinch a spot in the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

IN THE RECORD BOOKS

  • The USA’s back-to-back wins to open the year is a first since the team began 2009 with victories against Sweden and Mexico. The last time the U.S. opened a year with three straight wins was 2007.

BY THE NUMBERS:

  • 0: Goals allowed by the U.S. in two games this year
  • 4: Goals scored by the USA in 10 previous meetings against Italy
  • 32: Goals scored by Italy against the U.S. in 10 previous games
  • 40: Jonathan Spector’s appearances for Birmingham City in 2011-12
  • 100 Caps for U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra

ON USSOCCER.COM:

JURGEN KLINSMANN FACT FILE: Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is in the midst of his second year and first full calendar year in charge of the U.S. Men’s National Team. Below are some of his past accomplishments as a player and coach.

  • Klinsmann was named the U.S. Men’s National Team head coach on July 29, 2011, making him the 35th coach in the history of the program.
  • Klinsmann’s record as head coach of the Men’s National Team is 4-4-1, including three straight wins against Slovenia (Nov. 15, 2011), Venezuela (Jan. 21, 2012) and Panama (Jan. 25, 2012).
  • Klinsmann’s U.S. coaching debut was a 1-1 draw against Mexico on Aug. 10, 2011, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. During Klinsmann’s abbreviated 2011 tenure, opponents outscored the USA by a 7-5 margin. The U.S.’s two victories during the Klinsmann era in 2011 include a 1-0 win against Honduras (Oct. 8) and a 3-2 victory against Slovenia (Nov. 15).
  • Klinsmann was named the Germany National Team manager in 2004 and guided Germany to a 20-6-8 record and a third-place finish in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He earned Coach of the Year honors in Germany, and two years later he took over the head coaching position at Bayern Munich.
  • As a player, Klinsmann played 17 club seasons from 1981 to 1998 with the following teams: Stuttgarter Kickers (1981-84), VfB Stuttgart (1984-89), Internazionale (1989-92), Monaco (1992-94), Tottenham Hotspur (1994-95, 97-98), Bayern Munich (1995-97) and Sampdoria (1997-98). During that time, he scored 226 goals in 506 appearances. He was named German Player of the Year in 1988 and 1994 and FWA Footballer of the Year in 1995.
  • Klinsmann earned 108 caps with the German National Team, scoring 47 goals. He participated in three World Cups (1990, 1994 and 1998) and won the 1990 World Cup.
  • Klinsmann was born on July 30, 1964, in Goppingen, Germany.

IN FOCUS: ITALY
Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio
Founded: 1898 (Joined FIFA in 1905)
Head Coach: Cesare Prandelli
Best World Cup Finish: Won in 1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006
Caps Leader: Fabio Cannavaro (136)
Top Scorer: Luigi Riva (35)

ITALY UPDATE

  • Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon of Juventus can take sole possession of being the most-capped goalkeeper in team history if he gets the call on Wednesday. Buffon currently is tied with former Italy goalkeeper Dino Zoff with 112 international appearances. Both players rank third all-time in caps behind defenders Fabio Cannavaro (136) and Paolo Maldini (126).
  • Roma forward Fabio Borini is the only player on Italy’s roster to have yet to earn an international cap for the senior team. Borini was the captain of Italy’s U-19 squad during the 2010 UEFA U-19 Championship.
  • Midfielder Daniele De Rossi was on Italy’s 2006 World Cup-winning team. He received a straight red card during Italy’s 1-1 draw on June 17, 2006, against the U.S. after elbowing USA forward Brian McBride in the face. The draw was Italy’s lone blemish during the World Cup.
  • De Rossi is the leading scorer on Italy’s current roster with 10 career goals. The last time Italy and the U.S. squared off, De Rossi scored what proved to be the game-winning goal during Italy’s 3-1 win against the U.S. on June 15, 2009, at the FIFA Confederations Cup.
  • Four current Italy players were on the 2006 World Cup-winning roster: Buffon, defender Andrea Barzagli, De Rossi and midfielder Andrea Pirlo.
  • Italy is one of 16 teams competing in the 2012 European Championship from June 8 - July 1 hosted by Poland and Ukraine. They advanced by going undefeated with an 8-0-2 record to capture first place in Group C. The winner of the tournament gains automatic entry to the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil.

ITALY ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (4): Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Morgan De Sanctis (Napoli), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint Germain), Emiliano Viviano (Palermo)
DEFENDERS (9): Ignazio Abate (AC Milan), Davide Astori (Cagliari), Federico Balzaretti (Palermo), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Domenico Criscito (Zenit St. Petersburg), Christian Maggio (Napoli), Angelo Ogbonna (Torino)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Thiago Motta (Paris Saint Germain), Antonio Nocerino (AC Milan), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus)
FORWARDS (4): Fabio Borini (Roma), Sebastian Giovinco (Parma), Alessandro Matri (Juventus), Giampaolo Pazzini (Inter Milan)

LAST TIME
On the field for USA:
Jan. 25, 2012 – Estadio Rommell Fernandez – Panama City, Panama – International Friendly
USA 1 Graham Zusi 9
Panama 0
USA : 1-Nick Rimando (12-Sean Johnson, 46); 2-A.J. DeLaGarza, 4-Michael Parkhurst, 5-Geoff Cameron, 3-Zach Loyd (14-Heath Pearce, 41); 6-Ricardo Clark (16-Jeff Larentowicz, 67), 8-Jermaine Jones (capt.); 7-Chris Wondolowski (13-Jeff Parke, 55), 10-Graham Zusi (15-Brad Evans, 66); 11-Brek Shea; 9-Teal Bunbury (18-C.J. Sapong, 76)
Subs not used: 17-Benny Feilhaber
Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

PAN : 1-Luis Mejia, 17-Carlos Rodriguez, 2-Eric Vasquez, 14-Eduardo Dasent, 3-Rolando Algandona; 11-Amir Waithe (15-Luis Ovalle, 71), 8-Marcos Sanchez, 6-Gabriel Gomez (13-Juan DeGracia, 90+2), 19-Alberto Quintero (20-Rolando Botello, 77); 7-Blas Perez (capt.), 16-Luis Renteria (9-Manuel Mosquera, 75)
Subs not used: 12-Kevin Melgar, 5-Sergio Thompson, 4-Edward Benitez
Head coach: Julio Dely Valdes

On the field for Italy:
Nov. 15, 2011 – Stadio Olimpico – Rome, Italy – International Friendly

Uruguay 1 Sebastian Fernandez 3
Italy 0
ITA : Gianluigi Buffon, Christian Maggio, Andrea Ranocchia, Giorgio Chiellini, Federico Balzaretti, Daniele De Rossi, Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio (Giampaolo Pazzini, 82), Riccardo Montolivo (Simone Pepe, 46), Pablo Osvaldo (Alessandro Matri, 65), Mario Balotelli
Head coach: Cesare Prandelli

URU : Fernando Muslera, Martin Caceres, Diego Lugano (Sebastian Coates, 46), Diego Godin, Alvaro Pereira, Maxi Pereira (Andres Scotti, 90), Diego Perez (Sebastian Eguren, 51), Egidio Arevalo Rios, Cristian Rodriguez (Alvaro Gonzalez, 83), Sebastian Fernandez, Edinson Cavani
Head Coach: Oscar Tabarez

vs. Italy:
June 15, 2009 – Loftus Versfeld Stadium – Pretoria, South Africa –2009 FIFA Confederations Cup
USA 1 Landon Donovan 41
Italy 3 Giuseppe Rossi 58, 90+4; Daniele De Rossi 72
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 21-Jonathan Spector, 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 15-Jay DeMerit, 2-Jonathan Bornstein (16-Sacha Kljestan, 86); 22-Benny Feilhaber (7-DaMarcus Beasley, 72), 13-Ricardo Clark, 12-Michael Bradley, 8-Clint Dempsey; 10-Landon Donovan, 17-Jozy Altidore (9-Charlie Davies, 66)
Subs not used: 3-Carlos Bocanegra, 4-Conor Casey, 6-Heath Pearce, 11-Marvell Wynne, 14-Danny Califf, 18-Brad Guzan, 19-Freddy Adu, 20-Jose Francisco Torres, 23-Luis Robles
Head Coach: Bob Bradley

ITA: 1-Gianluigi Buffon; 19-Gianluca Zambrotta, 4-Girogio Chiellini, 6-Nicola Legrottaglie, 3-Fabio Grosso; 8-Gennaro Gattuso (17-Giuseppe Rossi, 57), 10-Daniele De Rossi, 21-Andrea Pirlo; 15-Vincenzo Iaquinta, 11-Alberto Gilardino (9-Luca Toni, 69), 16-Mauro Camoranesi (20-Riccardo Montolivo, 57)
Subs not used: 2-Davide Santon, 5-Fabio Cannavaro, 7-Simone Pepe, 12-Morgan De Sanctis, 13-Alessandro Gamberini, 14-Marco Amelia, 18-Angelo Palombo, 22-Andrea Dossena, 23-Fabio Quagliarella
Head Coach: Marcello Lippi

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