Cape Town - New Bafana Bafana striker Davide Somma has vowed to "destroy" the United States if he is selected to play in the Nelson Mandela Challenge at Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday night.
"The United States did not show much interest in me, so I would love to get on the field and destroy them," the 25-year-old Leeds United forward said in his first interview with local media on Tuesday.
Bafana Bafana will meet the US for a third time on Wednesday. They have lost both previous encounters, going down 4-0 in Washington in 2000 and 1-0 at Ellis Park in 2007.
Somma was born in Johannesburg of Italian parents who moved to the US when he was 12-years-old.
"I would like to impress all South Africans with a decent performance and get one over the US for the way they messed me around and did not show much interest in me," he said on Tuesday.
Somma has scored seven goals in 14 matches for Leeds this season and jumped at the chance to play for South Africa.
"I was thrilled when South Africa showed more interest [than the US] and had no hesitation in telling the coach [Pitso Mosimane] I was available. I look forward to this match," he said.
Mosimane is expected to replace injured Katlego "Killer" Mphela in the starting line-up.
Mosimane views the match as a stepping stone to qualifying for the 2012 African Nations Cup and believes the experience gained by a side ranked 25th in the world will be invaluable.
"The coach told me to play my normal game, but like all strikers I am desperate to score," said Somma.
"No matter which team I play for I want to score. After all, that is my job and what I do best," he said.
Somma describes himself as "a little bit of everything".
"I can get behind defenders, run at them as I have pace and score goals. But, as for expectation, I obviously want to impress but the coach has said I must not do too much."
With a burning desire to settle an old score, Somma might just be the spark to light up Bafana and beat the US for the first time.
"I am looking forward to this game and hope to shine," he said.
US coach Bob Bradley has left most of his World Cup big guns out of the experimental side he has brought to Cape Town.
He has named only five of the players who reached the second round of the World Cup in South Africa earlier this year.
They are: defenders Brad Guzan who plays for Aston Villa but is not a regular with the English Premiership side; Jonathan Bornstein; West Ham United’s Jonathan Spector, who played in five of the US’s Confederations Cup matches in 2009; Clarence Goodson; and striker Robbie Findlay.
Bradley said he was looking ahead to next year’s Gold Cup, to be staged in the US, by drafting in promising striker Juan Agudelo and former captain of the US under-20 side Gale Agbossounde.