AS Roma wins international soccer friendly at Wrigley Field
BY SETH GRUEN For Sun-Times Media July 22, 2012 8:40PM
AS Roma players (in red) celebrate the team’s second goal Sunday at Wrigley Field. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: August 24, 2012 6:14AM
Known for its potent offensive attack, Italy’s AS Roma lived up to its reputation by scoring four goals in the first half on its way to a 4-0 victory against Poland’s Zaglebie Lubin in an international friendly Sunday at Wrigley Field.
Roma’s first goal came in the first minute, when Pablo Daniel Osvaldo found the net after a cross from Bojan Krkic. Panagiotis Tachtsidis scored in the 19th minute, Erik Lamela in the 30th and Krkic in the 43rd.
The soccer game was the first played at Wrigley since Sept. 3, 1984, when the Chicago Sting hosted the Vancouver Whitecaps. It was the first stop on a three-city tour of the United States for Roma.
‘‘Not happy with the game [we] played,’’ Roma coach Zdenek
Zeman said through an interpreter. ‘‘We were good enough to convert the first three chances that we had, but as far as the game is concerned, I’m not really satisfied with it. But we have to, of course, take into
account that it was a very hot day. The team has been working hard over the last few weeks, but we scored some good goals, and that’s a good thing.’’
U.S.-born midfielder Michael Bradley, who wasn’t made available for comment after the game,
appeared at ease in his second game with Roma after transferring to the team July 15.
As the score indicated, Roma’s 4-3-3 attacking style provided it with numerous scoring opportunities. That style of play, though, also makes Roma vulnerable to counterattacks.
Bradley, a defensive-minded midfielder, was effective at stopping the counterattack at times.
‘‘I knew him before a little bit
because he played in Holland already,’’ Roma goalie Maarten Stekelenburg said of Bradley. ‘‘The first couple of days, he made a good impression.’’
Roma was pleased to see most of the fans in attendance were in its corner, but the team expressed some distaste with the field conditions. The infield dirt under the newly planted grass made the field uneven and dry.
‘‘I’ve played on better fields, but it was nice,’’ Stekelenburg said. ‘‘A lot of people came to this game, so it was a nice day.’’
Zaglebie Lubin players and coaches weren’t made available for comment after the game.