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Roma Sign New Jersey-Born Gennaro Nigro to Primavera

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Nigro becomes only the second USA player signed by Roma’s American era.

AS Roma v SS Lazio - TIM Cup Final Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

We were pondering, exactly a week ago, over the surprising lack of conduit at Roma for hustling American players into European football. After all, it’s an American management and James Pallotta has waxed lyrical over the potential of the untapped USA playing talent. Now just a week later, on that very front, the club has signed 2000-born talent Gennaro Nigro to slot straight into Alberto De Rossi’s Primavera selection. It may not be Christian Pulisic, but it’s at least the club backing Pallotta’s assertions over the playing talent in the States.

It’s thought that Nigro being awarded an Italian passport made the deal much easier for Roma, and the New Jersey-born teenager becomes only the second American player at the club since Michael Bradley’s debut in 2012. {Editor’s note: You may remember the nine-year-old from Missouri, Alessandro Cupini, being signed last October, but that still hasn’t been verified. Probably because he’s, you know, nine!}

There is actually no shortage of Nigro’s playing highlights available on the web, thanks to social media hubs like Hudl covering the Stateside Players Development Academy here. But I’m not going to pretend like I looked through every minute of it, it’s just linked above if that is your thing.

Generally speaking, he looks he possesses natural instinct in midfield to evade pressure on the ball from deep and help work his side’s possession 30 or so yards up the pitch into the opposition third.

Gazzetta Regionale describes Nigro as equally able with both feet, willing to cover ground and put a real shift in for his side. Whether or not we are looking at the next American Daniele De Rossi remains to be seen, but Alessio Riccardi rubbing shoulders with the seniors in this summer’s first team ritiro may well mean De Rossi Snr. needs the Primavera midfield reinforcements before long.