Rossi hopes for chance with Red Bulls or New York City FC

The former Italy national team star has been training with the New Jersey based club and hopes for an opportunity with his local teams

Giuseppe Rossi is hoping for an opportunity to restart his career with either the New York Red Bulls or New York City FC, the former Italy international said on a podcast.

The New Jersey-born Rossi famously could have represented the United States at the international level, but shunned the country of his birth for his parents' homeland of Italy.

Rossi would go on to score seven goals in 30 appearances for the Azzurri, but saw his international and club career derailed by a series of serious knee injuries.

Despite a club resume which has included stops at Manchester United, Villarreal and Fiorentina, Rossi is currently a free agent and has returned to his home state of New Jersey.

Specifically, the 32-year-old Rossi has been training at the Red Bulls’ facility with the club's blessing and he's been enjoying himself in hopes of staying in shape when an offer comes along.

“This year, since I’ve been a free agent for longer than I expected, I asked if I could train with them just to have the possibility to be on the field with a very good team like the Red Bulls,” Rossi told Pro Soccer USA on the Soccer City podcast. “I can keep fit and keep playing and have fun, which is exactly what I’m having – a lot of fun with those guys.”

Rossi admitted he is rooting for the Red Bulls as they face Atlanta United in Eastern Conference finals of the Major League Soccer playoffs. The Red Bulls are aiming for their first-ever MLS Cup.

“I’m happy they are doing really good. They deserve it. It’s a great group of guys and I’m really pulling for them to take the title back home.”

In addition, the striker said he would love for an opportunity to get a chance to play for either of the two New York metropolitan area based MLS sides, though he admitted no talks have been held with either club at this point.

“These are all possibilities I am keeping open, obviously,” Rossi said when asked if he might be interested in a chance to play for either team. “Coming home and playing home would be something amazing. It would be something amazing because this area in New Jersey is in my blood.

“I would love to be a part of the soccer culture that is around this area – the New Jersey/New York area – obviously, it takes two to tango, am I right? I would love to sit down to talk.”

During the interview, Rossi also address the famous controversy regarding his decision to play for Italy over the United States – something that made him infamous among many United States national team supporters.

However, the striker revealed it really wasn’t a choice, as his mind had been made up from the time he was a small child that his dream was to one day wear the blue of the Azzurri.

“My family, they’re all Italians,” Rossi said. “My parents came here when they were 15 or 16 years old. Obviously, my first language when I was born was Italian. I grew up in a household speaking a lot of Italian. When it came to soccer, I used to watch Milan. I used to watch Serie A. I used to watch the Italian national team because that’s what I grew up watching – that’s what I grew up falling in love with.

“My mind was made up already when I was 2 years old – it wasn’t something I made up when I was 18 years old.

“I just hope people understand that. I know there’s a lot of people that don’t want to understand it. Everything I did was the Italian way – it’s the way I was brought up."