The USA gets its toughest test under Jurgen Klinsmann, traveling to Genoa to take on Italy.
|Italy (4-3-1-2): Buffon; Maggio, Barzagli, Ogbonna, Criscito; Marchisio, Pirlo, Nocerino; Thiago Motta; Matri, Giovinco|
*Note: Italy starting XI has been confirmed by Cesare Prandelli at a news conference
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Morgan De Sanctis (Napoli), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris St. Germain), Emiliano Viviano (Palermo);
Defenders: Ignazio Abate (Milan), Davide Astori (Cagliari), Federico Balzaretti (Palermo), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Domenico Criscito (Zenit St. Petersburg), Christian Maggio (Napoli), Angelo Ogbonna (Torino);
Midfielders: Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Thiago Motta (Paris St. Germain), Antonio Nocerino (Milan), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus);
Forwards: Fabio Borini (Roma), Sebastian Giovinco (Parma), Alessandro Matri (Juventus), Giampaolo Pazzini (Inter).
|USA (4-2-3-1): Howard, Spector, Bocanegra, Goodson, Cherundolo; Bradley, Edu; Johnson, Williams, Dempsey; Altidore||
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaelland), Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City)
Midfielders: Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim)
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund), Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Brek Shea (FC Dallas)
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- The most-recent meetings between these teams were in the 2006 World Cup and the 2009 Confederations Cup. The USA tied eventual champion Italy 1-1 in 2006, while it fell to the Azzurri 3-1 in 2009.
- Italy has never lost to the USA, holding an all-time 7-0-3 record.
- Timmy Chandler (left hamstring strain), Landon Donovan (bronchitis), and Jose Torres (right hamstring strain) were all named to the U.S. squad and forced to withdraw. Klinsmann added midfielder Sacha Kljestan and forward Brek Shea to the side in their place.
- Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has axed Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli from his side, saying, "I want to arrive at the Euros with a prepared squad. I don't want a player, because of a reaction on the field of play, to leave my team down to 10 men."
The U.S. has collected three consecutive victories, including a pair of shutout wins against Venezuela and Panama to open up 2012.
- Juventus has the most representatives on the Italy side with seven (Matri, Buffon, Chiellini, Barzagli, Pirlo, Bonucci, Marchisio).
- Borussia Dortmund striker Terrence Boyd is the only player on the USA roster who will seek to earn his first cap. Fabio Borini is the only uncapped Italian.
- The match will kick off on Feb. 29 at 2:45 p.m. ET, and will be broadcast live on ESPN2, ESPN3 and Galavision.