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U.S.-born players strike in same game for Italy and Nigeria
November 19th, 2013 12:55AM
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TAGS:  americans abroad, italy, mls

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[WORLD CUP COUNTDOWN] What are the odds of two players being born just a day apart in the United States scoring in the same game for national teams other than the United States? That's what Giuseppe Rossi and Bright Dike did on Monday for Italy and Nigeria, respectively, in their international friendly played in London.

The odds of Rossi and Dike, both 26, just starting were almost as long as the odds that they'd both score in the match that ended in a 2-2 tie at Fulham's Craven Cottage.

The game was the first start for the New Jersey-born Rossi for Italy in almost two years as he battled knee problems.

The Oklahoma-native Dike, who has bounced around teams in MLS and USL since turning pro out of Notre Dame, had never previously started for Nigeria.

Rossi, who returned to Italy to play for Fiorentina, opened the scoring before Dike replied for Nigeria, which was playing 48 hours after clinching a berth in the World Cup with a 2-0 win over Ethiopia at home.

Rossi was born Feb. 1, 1987. Dike was born a day later.


6 comments
  1. Che Guevara
    commented on: November 19, 2013 at 7:58 a.m.
    Were these 2 kids scouted at all in USA ?? Were they Academy players ?? Why did they leave ??
  1. Kent James
    commented on: November 19, 2013 at 8:51 a.m.
    The US was aware of Rossi and tried to recruit him (he's from NJ). I believe his parents (or at least his father) are Italian immigrants, and encouraged him to go to an Italian pro club when he was young (12-14?). I think once he moved to Italy, it was a long shot for the US to get him. I don't know Dike's story...
  1. Andrea Hana
    commented on: November 19, 2013 at 11:46 a.m.
    Thank you, Kent James, for the info. I will have to look up these players. Interesting story!
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: November 19, 2013 at 1:37 p.m.
    Not accurate Kent. Giuseppe Rossi chose his path in soccer with his ultimate goal to make the Italian national squad. Ref'd one of his U-10 travel games in NJ, an awesome talent then and top quality professional now, having scored 11 times in 12 Serie-A games. IMHO, not one USMNT player has his vision, decision-making, and execution talents.
  1. Alvin James
    commented on: November 19, 2013 at 2:14 p.m.
    Bright Dike. Well, Weston Fury played against his OKC team in Southern Regionals U-17 in Austin Texas in 2004. We went to penalties because of a rain soaked event the dignitaries having cut the games to 25 minute halves. He kept running past the ball as it got held up in the water on the field. Thank god.... He had blazing speed and was a big man amongst boys. In penalties when it was his turn to take his spot kick I turned to the boys and said he was going to overpower the ball and miss. Sure enough when he struck it there was another field, full regulation size behind the goal they were using and the ball flew to the other end of the other fields goal. If it were not for the rain the ball would still be orbiting the globe right now. Good player. glad to hear he is playing for Nigeria. Coach Alvin
  1. Kent James
    commented on: November 22, 2013 at 10:04 a.m.
    I w, what was inaccurate about my post? According to Wikipedia, he was born in Teaneck, moved to Parma with his Dad at age 12 to play club ball there, and was invited to play with the US national team by Bruce Arena in 2006 but declined.

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