For a second straight World Cup cycle, United States-born Italian international Giuseppe Rossi has fallen just short of competing on the world's grand stage.
Rossi, a New Jersey native, was one of Cesare Prandelli's seven World Cup roster cuts Sunday, experiencing a bit of unfortunate deja vu after being one of the final cuts in 2010 as well. Prandelli opted for forwards Mario Balotelli, Antonio Cassano, Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne and Alessio Cerci instead of Rossi and Mattia Destro.
As opposed to 2010, when Rossi was a healthy cut, he was fighting an uphill battle after suffering a third major knee injury in two years back in January, even though he had returned to action for Fiorentina prior to being called into pre-World Cup camp as part of Prandelli's 30-man preliminary roster. He started and played 71 minutes against the Republic of Ireland on Saturday, but ultimately did not do enough or prove enough on the fitness level for Prandelli to bring him to Brazil.
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At 27, Rossi is likely down to one remaining cycle to earn a place playing in the World Cup while at the height of his abilities after choosing to represent Italy over the USA in a decision that sparked debate, controversy and plenty of venomous emotion from U.S. fans at the time. Despite missing about four months with his latest injury, he still scored 16 goals for Fiorentina in Serie A this season.