Italian Recap: Novakovich Lone American in Action in Italy

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With Gianluca Busio not called into action for Venezia following USMNT duty, Andrija Novakovich was the only American to take the field in Italy, putting in a second-half shift in a losing effort for Frosinone.

US Lecce 1 – 0 Frosinone

Needing road victory over erstwhile fourth-place Lecce to retain any distant hope of reaching the automatic promotion spots, Frosinone were not up to the task, losing narrowly to all but seal their fate in the post-season playoff.

In his 30-minute shift after coming in for midfielder Karlo Lulic to provide extra firepower, Novakovich had one attempt on goal that was blocked, but was otherwise the victim of a resolute Lecce defense that only allowed a total of four shots throughout the entire 90 minutes.

Lecce were on the front foot from the beginning, regularly testing the Frosinone defense with left sided attacker Francesco di Mariano being the main source of danger.

They got the job done to secure the three points with five minutes left in the first half. Massimo Coda beat his man in the left flank to create space for a long cross towards goal, and the 25 year-old Serie B journeyman di Mariano was waiting just in front of the penalty spot to head home.

Even after Novakovich’s insertion into the attack at the hour, Frosinone couldn’t create any sustained pressure, being easy neutralized by the more aggressive play of their hosts, and eventually falling to the loss.

The loss leaves Frosinone in eighth place, the final of the six playoff spots, but still four points ahead of Perugia with six games left. They have a quick turnaround, with a Tuesday visit to Pordenone.


Neither Gianluca Busio nor Tanner Tessmann was called into action on Saturday as Venezia fell 1-0 on the road at Spezia thanks to a 94th-minute winner by their hosts. The result puts them deeper into the hole, with a three-point gap to make up in their final eight games if they hope to have any chance at survival.

Weston McKennie is still recovering from a broken foot and did not play in the title-crushing 1-0 home loss by Juventus to Inter Milan.

Anthony Fontana was finally able to suit up for Ascoli in their 1-0 home win over Pordenone on Saturday, however was not called into action, and is still awaiting his on-field debut.


David Smith

I'm YA's resident doctor, but not the kind of doctor you would want giving you an examination anywhere outside of a lecture hall. I've been YA's feet-on-the-ground in Germany since 2008, have an affinity for overly verbose descriptions of irrelevant minutiae, keep an eye on YAs in most of the destinations on mainland Europe, and watch a whole lot of Serie A.

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