Italy survived some first-half scares on the way to a 2-0 win over Albania in a World Cup qualifier marred by crowd trouble caused by away fans on Friday. A Daniele De Rossi penalty and Ciro Immobile header gave Italy three points in Group G as their veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon made his 1,000th senior appearance. De Rossi had to wait to take his penalty when two firecrackers were thrown onto the pitch by Albania fans behind the goal.
If the United States men’s national team emerges from its crucial set of World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Panama by successfully reviving its bid for Russia 2018, there will be plenty of plaudits to go around. First, the turnaround would immediately validate U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati’s decision to replace head coach Jurgen Klinsmann with Bruce Arena and his much-needed pragmatic approach, although Gulati stuck with Klinsmann far too long.
The U.S. Women’s National Team wasn’t at its best the last time they stepped out for the SheBelieves Cup, but Jill Ellis’ group will have a chance to find their feet again next month as they prepare to face Russia in a pair of friendlies. Ellis announced her 24-player roster on Thursday, which was headlined by the inclusion of Seattle Reign midfielder Megan Rapinoe. “This is our last chance to get together before the NWSL starts and we’ll take full advantage of the training time as well as the two matches against a team in preparation for the European championships,” said Ellis. “Following these matches, my staff and I will begin a heavy investment in attending and evaluating the NWSL games as