- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

ROME (AP) - Giuseppe Rossi, a 27-year-old forward from New Jersey, was among 30 players selected for Italy’s preliminary World Cup roster.

Born in Teaneck and raised in Clifton in an Italian-American family, Rossi chose to play for the Azzurri rather than the U.S. national team.

He played for Italy at the 2009 Confederations Cup, where he scored twice in a 3-1 win over the United States. He was on the preliminary roster for the 2010 World Cup roster, then was cut when the group was trimmed to 23.

Rossi injured his right knee while playing for Fiorentina on Jan. 5 and was sidelined until May 3. He tore his right anterior cruciate ligament during a game for Villarreal against Real Madrid in October 2011 and needed three operations before returning with Fiorentina in May 2013.

Rossi has seven goals in 29 international appearances and 16 goals in 23 games with Fiorentina this season.

Among those left off were forwards Alberto Gilardino and Pablo Osvaldo; Sunderland winger Emanuele Giaccherini; attacking midfielder Alessandro Diamanti, who recently joined the Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande; and Zenit St. Petersburg defender Domenico Criscito.

The forwards included are Mario Balotelli, Antonio Cassano, Alessio Cerci, Mattia Destro, Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne and Rossi.

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is headed to making his fifth World Cup roster.

The roster:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Mattia Perin (Genoa), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain, France)

Defenders: Ignazio Abate (AC Milan), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Matteo Darmian (Torino), Mattia De Sciglio (AC Milan), Christian Maggio (Napoli), Gabriel Paletta (Parma), Manuel Pasqual (Fiorentina), Andrea Ranocchia (Inter Milan)

Midfielders: Alberto Aquilani (Fiorentina), Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (AC Milan), Thiago Motta (Paris Saint-Germain, France), Marco Parolo (Parma), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus), Romulo (Hellas Verona), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain).

Forwards: Mario Balotelli (AC Milan), Antonio Cassano (Parma), Alessio Cerci (Torino), Mattia Destro (Roma), Ciro Immobile (Torino), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Giuseppe Rossi (Fiorentina)

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