In the realm of “news I didn’t expect,” this is one of the things I really didn’t expect: Giuseppe Rossi is training with Real Salt Lake, according to a report from The Athletic’s Sam Stejskal.
Source: Giuseppi Rossi is with RSL at their camp in Phoenix. Sides are discussing a contract. Plan is for him to train with the team when they resume practice tomorrow.— Sam Stejskal (@samstejskal) January 29, 2020
Rossi, who turns 33 this weekend, has been without a club since he left Genoa at end of the 2017-18 season.
This is a particularly interesting thing to me. At 33, it’s hard to imagine Rossi as landing an automatic starting position. That’s especially the case as he’s spent a year-and-a-half without a club.
Rossi went on trial with LAFC in February 2019, expressed interest in signing with New York Red Bulls in late 2018, and at last accounting, had gone to Villareal, where he was hoping for a comeback.
This leads us to a branching path: This could be a good move or a bad move, on the face of it, and it largely depends on the contract he’s offered, should he be offered one.
His pedigree, having played for top-division European soccer clubs since 2005, is unmistakable. But his injury record is similarly striking, having sat out for length occasions with various ligament injuries.
Rossi also plays at center forward, which is a position of some need for RSL. Sam Johnson is the only tried-and-true player in the position right now, leaving some need for a backup. Corey Baird can play there, but it does look a bit like he’ll be utilized more from wide positions.
Perhaps as a bit of a boost to consideration, Rossi wouldn’t occupy an international position, as he was born in New Jersey.
Now that the lid’s off this rumor, the question remains: Will RSL finalize a deal? Moreover, should they?