5 Best American-Born Players In Serie A History

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Serie A: Top 5 American-Born Players In History

Serie A
John David Mercer - USA TODAY Sports

With Michael Bradley's recent move from Roma to Toronto, Serie A sadly says goodbye to one of the best adventures ever had by an American-born player in the league's history. What makes this transfer even more regretful is the fact that the 26 year old's great performances in the league only represented an exception, given that, traditionally, American footballers have never really had much fortune in Italy.

Of course, it is also true that, more than the actual success, the main issue about these players in Italy involves the country's poor attraction toward the American talent, considering that there has only been seven professionals born in the United States that have ever signed a contract with an Italian team.

Even more, two of these players even ended up their adventures without even adding one Serie A match. Their names are Danny Szetela and Oguchi Onyewu, who now play for New York Cosmos and Sheffield Wednesday Football Club of England, respectively.

For Szetela, the Italian journey wasn't really negative, given that he was able to add more than 25 appearances in Serie B (Italy's second division) with Brescia, getting really close the country's maximum category as the Lombardian finished fourth in the league's standings, only one point behind the ascending spot. Unfortunately, however, the club ended up deciding not to extend the loan agreement for the player for the following season.

On the other hand, for Onyewu, the experience was much more lamentable, even if he belonged to the giants of AC Milan. As a matter of fact, in two season, the defender was only able to play one single game as a Rossonero, for a Champions League match against Zurich. In 2011, he left Italy without any Serie A appearance.

Without further ado, here are the top five American-born players in Serie A history.

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5. Alexi Lalas

Lalas
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Even if he's not really missed by the fans, Alexi Lalas really did have a positive experience in Italy in which he added decent performances with Padova for two years. Moreover, during the first season, in 1994-95, the defender helped the team stay save from relegation, even by scoring three goals, including the ones against Milan and Inter.

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4. Armando Frigo

Frigo
Picture provided by Vicenza's official website

Considered the second American-born player ever playing in Serie A, the Italian/American Armando Frigo was, for several years, a main character of Vicenza and Fiorentina. He even won the Coppa Italia of 1939, achieved by beating Genoa in the final after having eliminated Milan, Juventus and Lazio in the previous rounds. He was killed by the Nazis during World War II, where he fought as a member of the Italian army.

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3. Michael Bradley

Bradley
Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Bradley has said goodbye to Serie A after two and a half years of great performances, both with Chievo Verona and Roma. His unfortunate goodbye resulted from the arrival of Radja Nainggolan to the capital side, which pushed the 26 year old down even more in Rudi Garcia's rankings for the midfield line, also composed by other great players Daniele De Rossi, Kevin Strootman, Rodrigo Taddei and Miralem Pjanić.

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2. Alfonso Negro

Negro
Picture provided by Fiorentina's official Facebook page

Unknown by many, Alfonso Negro is an important part of United States' sports history. As a matter of fact, he is, to this day, the only American-born soccer player in ever winning a Golden Olympic medal, which he achieved with the Italian national team in Berlin in 1936. With Fiorentina, he also became the first American-born professional to ever play in Serie A.

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1. Giuseppe Rossi

Rossi
Picture provided by Fiorentina's official Facebook page

Even if he's considered a real traitor for American fans, the truth is that Giuseppe Rossi is, without a doubt, the very best American-born player in Serie A history. Just like it was for Negro, his decision of playing for Italy instead of the United States will never hide how much he identifies with the American culture as a person. For sure, in terms of talent and quality, nobody has been better than him.

 

 

 

 

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