SCOTT PETERSON - Monday, January 14, 2013
Michael Bradley and Roma dropped precious points in their bid for European soccer next season falling to Catania Calcio in Sunday Serie A action.
Bradley started alongside Greek midfielder Panagiotis Tachtsidis for head coach Zdenek Zeman, who opted to go with the duo in lieu of Italian midfielder Danielle De Rossi.
Roma had a slew of chances in the first 45 minutes, the majority of which fell to striker Mattia Destro. The Italian striker had fantastic scoring chances in the 11th, 13th and 26th minutes, but could not capitalize.
Things got worse for Destro in the 34th minute as he failed to get his shot on to a wide-open goal after Catania keeper Mariano Andujar spilled Alessandro Florenzi's long-range shot into the path of the young Italian striker a mere five yards from goal.
Bradley then got in on the wasteful act squandering a rebound of his own in the 38th minute, firing just over the bar from eight yards out.
With all the excellent chances that had gone begging in the first 45 it was hardly a surprise that the Romans would be punished by their Sicilian counterparts.
The home team did just that in the 62 minute as Gonzalo Bergessio picked out Alejandro Gomez behind the Roman ranks. Bradley could not recover in time and the Argentine goal-getter chipped Roma keeper Mauro Goicoechea for his fifth goal of the season.
Roma nearly grabbed a late equalizer after Bradley chipped a pass over the defense on to the path of Dodů, but the Brazilian's attempt from four yards out was kept out by a class reflex save from Andujar.
With the loss Roma remains in sixth place, but is now only a single point ahead of Milan in the standings. This Sunday Bradley and Roma host Inter in the week's marquee matchup.