Italy vs United States | Preview | November 20, 2018

Italy vs United States
International Friendly
Luminus Arena — Genk
November 20 — 12:45 PM MT

The US men’s national team look to bounce back from a disappointing 3-0 loss to England when they close out 2018 with an international friendly against Italy in Belgium on Tuesday.

The US have won just once in their Fall Kickoff Series, all against teams in the Top 25 of the FIFA World Rankings and have lost two of their last three, while Italy have lost just once in their four matches this fall and are coming off a 0-0 draw against Portugal Saturday in UEFA Nations League A.

“We’ve got another tough game on Tuesday,” goalkeeper Brad Guzan said. “A game like this it opens your eyes in terms of when you’re playing the top teams, athletic teams that are good on the ball, can get up and down the field, today was hopefully a good lesson and we’re able to move forward from it.”

Italy Outlook

Italy had more possession and more chances, but they were punished for not being clinical in the attack third, playing Portugal to a 0-0 draw In a UEFA Nations League A game at the San Siro in Milan on Saturday. It was the sixth consecutive draw for Italy at the San Siro.

The result was good enough for Portugal to top their group and head to the final four in Porto. Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma dived to parry away a late chance by William Carvalho in a match that saw Italian captain Giorgio Chiellini earn his 100th cap, the seventh Italian player to reach that milestone.

The Azzurri have only scored three times in five games since September, but have been typically stout defensively, conceding just three goals.

United States Outlook

The United States looked every bit the young, inexperienced team, conceding twice in quick succession in the opening 45 minutes in a 3-0 loss to England Thursday at Wembley Stadium in Wayne Rooney’s testimonial.

Jesse Lingard and Trent Alexander-Arnold scored one minute apart to give the Three Lions a 2-0 lead before the half hour mark and Callum Wilson closed out the scoring in the 77th minute. The only thing missing for England was a Rooney goal, the D.C. United forward was denied by Atlanta United's Guzan in the second half.

The US played better after the first half in which interim coach Dave Sarachan said his team played “timid.”

“In the first half I thought we were a little timid and we allowed a little bit too much space,” Sarachan said postgame. “Their spacing, their movement was very challenging for our group. As much as we talked about it, watched and scouted England, it’s still on the players to sort through that and I thought we just didn’t get around the ball enough, didn’t get in on enough plays and it makes for a tough half.”


This will be the 12th US meeting against Italy. The Azzurri hold a 7-1-3 all-time mark. After playing to a memorable 1-1 draw during the group stage of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the United States picked up their lone win on February 29, 2012 in Genoa with Clint Dempsey scoring the lone goal.

Players to Watch

Italy — Jorginho: The 26-year-old midfielder, who made the offseason move to Chelsea after four and a half years with Napoli, is a player who always wants to be on the ball. In his second game with Chelsea, he completed 158 passes in a 2-1 win at Newcastle United, the second highest total in Premier League history behind İlkay Gündoğan’s 167 for Manchester City against Chelsea a year earlier. If both Tyler Adams and Jorginho are on the pitch at the same time, it should make for an intriguing duel.

United States — Tyler Adams: His exclusion in the Starting XI against England caused a minor stir on social media — Sarachan said after the midfielder was sore from playing the entire 90 minutes in a 3-0 win over Columbus Crew SC in the Eastern Conference semifinals last Sunday. Adams changed the US side’s mentality when he came on in the second half against the Three Lions and will likely get at least 45 minutes against Italy on Tuesday. While US fans will be excited to see Adams showcase his skills against the Azzurri, the New York Red Bulls supporters no doubt will be watching nervously.

Italy Roster


Player Club Caps/Goals
GK Alessio Cragno Cagliari 0/0
GK Gianluigi Donnarumma Milan 11/0
GK Salvatore Sirigu Torino 18/0
D Francesco Acerbi Lazio 2/0
D Cristiano Biraghi Fiorentina 4/1
D Leonardo Bonucci Juventus 84/6
D Giorgio Chiellini Juventus 100/8
D Mattia De Sciglio Juventus 36/0
D Alessandro Florenzi Roma 31/2
D Emerson Palmieri Chelsea 1/0
D Daniele Rugani Juventus 7/0
M Nicolò Barella Cagliari 3/0
M Roberto Gagliardini Inter Milan 5/0
M Jorginho Chelsea 13/1
M Lorenzo Pellegrini Roma 9/0
M Stefano Sensi Sassuolo 0/0
M Sandro Tonali Brescia 0/0
M Marco Verratti Paris Saint-Germain 28/1
F Domenico Berardi Sassuolo 4/0
F Federico Chiesa Fiorentina 10/0
F Vincenzo Grifo 1899 Hoffenheim 0/0
F Ciro Immobile Lazio 35/7
F Lorenzo Insigne Napoli 30/4
F Kevin Lasagna Udinese 2/0
F Leonardo Pavoletti Cagliari 0/0
F Matteo Politano Inter Milan 1/0

United States Roster

Pos. Player Club Caps/Goals
GK Brad Guzan Atlanta United 60/0
GK Ethan Horvath Club Brugge 2/0
GK Jonathan Klinsmann Hertha Berlin 0/0
D John Brooks VfL Wolfsburg 36/3
D Reggie Cannon FC Dallas 1/0
D Cameron Carter-Vickers Swansea City 6/0
D Aaron Long New York Red Bulls 1/0
D Matt Miazga Nantes 11/1
D Shaq Moore Reus 4/0
D Jorge Villafana Portland Timbers 20/0
D DeAndre Yedlin Newcastle United 57/0
D Walker Zimmerman LAFC 3/1
M Kellyn Acosta Colorado Rapids  22/2
M Tyler Adams New York Red Bulls 8/1
M Luca de la Torre Fulham 1/0
M Marky Delgado Toronto FC 5/0
M Romain Gall Malmo FF 0/0
M Julian Green Greuther Furth 15/4
M Sebastian Lletget LA Galaxy 4/1
M Weston McKennie Schalke 7/1
M Christian Pulisic Borussia Dortmund 22/9
M Kenny Saief Anderlecht 4/0
M Wil Trapp  Columbus Crew SC 10/0
M Tim Weah Paris Saint-Germain 8/1
F Josh Sargent Werder Bremen 5/2
F Bobby Wood Hannover 96 44/13

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