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U.S. Men's Soccer Team Falls To Venezuela In First-Ever Match In Cincinnati

Venezuelan goalkeeper Wuilker Faríñez makes a diving save to keep the USA from getting an early goal.
Tana Weingartner
Venezuelan goalkeeper Wuilker Faríñez makes a diving save to keep the USA from getting an early goal.

The U.S. Men's National Soccer Team (USMNT) lost to the Venezuelan national team on Sunday, 3-0, in the team's first-ever game in Cincinnati.Some 23,955 people filled Nippert Stadium, including a large number of Venezuelan fans spread throughout who stayed late after the final whistle to celebrate.

Venezuela took an early lead in the 16th minute when Jhon Murillo capitalized on a giveaway from American goalkeeper Zack Steffen, leading to a goal by Salomón Rondón. That was followed by goals in the 30th minute from Jefferson Savarino and a second from Salomón Rondón in the 36th.

After the match, Head Coach Gregg Berhalter wasn't impressed with his team's performance, saying players aren't quite where they need to be and conceding the USA didn't compete for 90 minutes on the same level as Venezuela.

The match was the sixth all-time meeting between the two countries and the USA's first lost. The team's record against Venezuela now stands at 3-1-2.

This was the USA's last friendly heading into this summer's Gold Cup.

The Gold Cup features 16 teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean competing to be Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) champions. The tournament begins June 15. The USMNT's first match is June 18 against Guyana in St. Paul, Minn.

Five FC Cincinnati players have been tapped to represent their respective countries in the Gold Cup. They are: Darren Mattocks and Alvas Powell of Jamaica; Allan Cruz and Kendall Waston of Costa Rica; and Emery Welshman of Guyana.

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Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Most recently, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She served on the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Board of Directors from 2007 - 2009.