Do You Know Who the Best American Soccer Player Is?

Tomi SalvucciContributor IAugust 23, 2008

Giuseppe Rossi is the best American soccer player.

Better than Freddy Adu, Landon Donovan, and Josmer Altidore.

Because he did not play professionally in America most people here don't know him that well.

Adu gets all the fan fare, and Altidore with his flashy goals in MLS, have been thrown to the top of the American ranks due to the fact that they have played for, and in, America.  Rossi does not and has not internationally or professionally.

Rossi, born in Clifton, New Jersey, plays in Spain and would prefer to play internationally for Italy.  His ranking nationality being Italian, his dream may come true.

For Spanish side Villarreal he netted 11 goals in 27 games last season.  That was two more goals than Altidore scored for the New York Red Bulls of Americas MLS, and nine more than Adu posted for his previous club, Benfica.

Now, all three have tremendous talent.  They all have specific traits that make them unique from each other.  One thing they don't share in my eyes is drive.

Rossi committed his allegiance to Italy for hopes of some day playing for the Azzurri in international play.  High hopes, I might add, considering that they are the defending World Cup champions.

Could Adu commit to playing and beating out the likes of a Pirlo, De Rossi, or a Gattuso?  Could Altidore play to another level so he could push out a Toni or Del Piero from the starting eleven?  Right now my answer is no.

You don't just jump into a league with giants like Real Madrid and Barcelona and have success as Rossi has had this quickly.  Hard work is what propels great athletes to be more than what their potential dictates. 

Thierry Henry scored only one more goal in 30 games just to put his accomplishments into perspective.

Now Josmer will have his chance to prove himself, but I think it will be hard for him to learn that in European football, space does not come easy and nor do goals.

As for Adu, he has immense talent.  There is no denying that.  He also has been dealt a tough road made harder by too many expectations at an early age.  At this point if he had been cultivated properly he would be the center piece of this article.  As you can read he is not.

As it goes, so does Rossi.  Plotting along.  Yes he got his call from Italy.  He actually scored a goal in the Olympics against South Korea.  He is now being referred to as the next great Azzurri forward.

So much for the American dream.