US to take on Italy in February 29 friendly in Genoa

AMSTERDAM — The US national team will be making a quick return to Europe for a great cause when they visit Italy in Genoa on Feb. 29, MLSsoccer.com has learned.

Multiple sources in Italy confirmed that the Nats will clash with the Azzurri to benefit victims of November's deadly flooding in Genoa just three months and change after winning at Slovenia. Details of the charity action are not yet known, but one source indicated that US coach Jurgen Klinsmann accepted a specific invitation for his team to take part in the event.

Though news of the friendly broke in November and Italy boss Cesare Prandelli referenced the match to the press multiple times this week, US Soccer says it's still getting ducks in a row for the Leap Day hop over to Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

"We’ve been in discussion with the Italian Football Federation about a friendly on Feb. 29 and are working through the final details," USMNT spokesman Neil Buethe told MLSsoccer.com on Friday afternoon. "We hope to be able to officially announce the match in the near future."

The friendly will be the United States' first visit to Genoa. Their last trip to Italy ended with a 1-0 defeat in Catania and the US has dropped both games played in Rome.

Overall, the Red, White & Blue have yet to taste victory in the series, with but three draws from 10 tries. The most recent meeting was a 3-1 US loss to open the 2009 Confederations Cup. Their last share was a 1-1 result with nine men against 10 during the group stage of the 2006 World Cup.