Borini receives first Italy callup for U.S. friendly
MILAN (AP) -- Italy coach Cesare Prandelli placed Fabio Borini on the national team for the first time for Wednesday's exhibition game against the United States. Omitted from the squad is Mario Balotelli.
Prandelli has hinted he might not take Balotelli to the European Championship this year. The 20-year-old Borini now has a chance to stake a claim for his place at the Euros.
Balotelli "still seems a little agitated to me," Prandelli said. "When I say we have to reach the European Championship prepared, I mean I don't want to get there with a squad who don't know how to manage tension and provocation."
Borini scored his seventh goal of the season Sunday, but it was not enough to prevent Roma from losing 4-1 at Atalanta. Palermo goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano returns to the squad after being injured for the first half of the season.
The U.S. announced its roster Friday. Landon Donovan was on the roster, but had to withdraw due to illness.
The Americans are preparing for the start of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. They are seeking their seventh straight World Cup appearance and open qualifying June 8 against Antigua and Barbuda at Tampa, Fla.
The Italy roster:
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Morgan De Sanctis (Napoli), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain), Emiliano Viviano (Palermo).
Defenders: Ignazio Abate (AC Milan), Davide Astori (Cagliari), Federico Balzaretti (Palermo), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Domenico Criscito (Zenit St. Petersburg), Christian Maggio (Napoli), Angelo Ogbonna (Torino).
Midfielders: Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Thiago Motta (Paris Saint-Germain), Antonio Nocerino (AC Milan), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus).
Forwards: Fabio Borini (Roma), Sebastian Giovinco (Parma), Alessandro Matri (Juventus), Giampaolo Pazzini (Inter Milan).
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