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Soccer Stunner: For First Time Ever, USA Beats Italy; Wins 1-0 'Friendly'

Clint Dempsey of Team USA celebrates his goal against Italy earlier today (Feb. 29, 2012) in Genoa, Italy.
Valerio Pennicino
/
Getty Images
Clint Dempsey of Team USA celebrates his goal against Italy earlier today (Feb. 29, 2012) in Genoa, Italy.

OK, so it was only an exhibition — or a "friendly," as the soccer ... er, football ... fanatics say.

But it's still a first.

Team USA beat Italy 1-0 today. The match was played in Genoa, Italy. And As ESPN reports:

"The loss was particularly deflating for Italy, a four-time World Cup champion preparing for the start of the European Championship in June. The Americans, who are getting ready for their opening qualifier for the 2014 World Cup in June, had been 0-7-3 against Italy and had been outscored 32-4 [over a span stretching 78 years]."

What's more, The Guardian says that the Italian national team hadn't lost in Genoa since 1924.

Texas native Clint Dempsey, who's been playing very well this season for Fulham in England's Premier League, scored Team USA's goal.

Side note: Now there really is a great sports moment that happened on a leap day.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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