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Former Italian international Giuseppe Rossi on trial with LAFC

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Injury-ravaged forward looking to continue career.

Benevento Calcio v Genoa CFC - Serie A

An intriguing new face has emerged at Los Angeles Football Club, as former Italian international Giuseppe Rossi is on trial at the club.

The news was first reported on Tuesday by Kristian Dyer, and corroborated on Wednesday by John Rojas.

Rossi, 32, has been looking for a new team since being released by Genoa at the end of the 2017-18 season. Several months back he was training with the New York Red Bulls, and the New Jersey native had declared an interest in signing for the Red Bulls or New York City FC.

But it appears those teams did not bite, and in recent days, Rossi has been connected to both the LA Galaxy, who look set to ship out Ola Kamara, and LAFC.

Rossi has played in three countries to date on the club front, turning pro with Manchester United in 2004 before going to Newcastle United and then Parma, both on loan.

He moved to Villarreal in 2007, where he enjoyed the best stint of his career. But severe injuries, starting with an ACL tear in 2011, followed by another one the following year, halted his meteoric rise, which included 30 caps for the Italian national team. Rossi moved to Fiorentina in 2013 and was the leading scorer in Serie A until another major knee injury in Jan. 2014 put him out of action and doomed his hopes of playing in the World Cup.

After suffering yet another knee injury, Rossi eventually recovered and went on loan to Levante, followed by a loan to Celta Vigo, where he scored in La Liga but not at the prodigious rate he had previously done in Spain. His last club was Genoa, but again, he hasn’t played a competitive match since May 20, 2018, as he’s looked to find a new club since then.

Rossi was once persona non grata to many American soccer fans, as the New Jersey-born and raised player spurned the U.S. Men’s National Team to play for Italy, the country both of his parents are from. We aren’t here to evaluate that whole thing, but if LAFC were to sign him, of course he does not take up an international slot, and would become yet another LAFC signing this preseason who is a dual national.

But how likely is Rossi to sign with LAFC? I’d say there’s a chance but it probably isn’t especially high. The guy had talent — at one point he was mooted to be Italy’s top striker going into a World Cup. That’s pretty rarefied air. But he truly has had a nightmare run of knee injuries the past several years, something that has to (and has) given teams the world over pause.

There’s also the financial part of this. I’d imagine if LAFC did give him a contract offer, it would be for a small amount of money considering his injury risk. Would he take any offer, even if it seemed very lowball? Can’t say for sure but he may find a low-end MLS offer to be sticker shock in a way. So I’d say it’s a chance he signs a deal for LAFC but probably not a great one. We’ll see.

What do you think? Leave a comment below!