America’s Most Important Soccer Player Conquers The Old World

“By the time I arrived at the Stadio Olimpico for the Rome Derby this April, ultras had already knifed four people, cracked open someone’s head with a bottle, and terrorized an ambulance with rocks and explosives. Uprooted flagstones lay strewn about the foot of a lonely obelisk dedicated to Mussolini. Copies of Corriere dello Sport scurried in the wind like tumbleweeds in a spaghetti Western. Clearly, this was a showdown that mattered. Inside the stadium, over 50,000 AS Roma and Lazio fans were in full throat. Their teams were battling for Serie A’s final Europa League spot, not to mention local ascendancy. The Derby della Capitale promised to be one of those high-stakes contests that make Europe a crucible for the world’s best talent. It was the kind of match in which Americans appear too infrequently. And that was why I’d come: to watch the American.” deadspin – Howler Magazine (Video)

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