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U.S. men’s national team to host Venezuela in first ever match in Cincinnati

Nipper Stadium played host to the U.S. women's national team for a 5-0 win on September 19, 2017. The venue will now host the men for the first time on June 9. (D.J. Switzer/Pro Soccer USA)
Nipper Stadium played host to the U.S. women's national team for a 5-0 win on September 19, 2017. The venue will now host the men for the first time on June 9. (D.J. Switzer/Pro Soccer USA)

CINCINNATI — U.S. Soccer is set to officially announce that the men’s national team will visit Cincinnati for a friendly against Venezuela on June 9, according to sources familiar with the details. 

This will be the first-ever stop in Cincinnati for the men’s national team, and the second of two tune-up matches ahead of this summer’s Concacaf Gold Cup. The national team is expected to play at D.C. United’s Audi Field on either June 4 or June 5. The Gold Cup is set to kick off June 15.

Pro Soccer USA has also exclusively learned the game will be played at the University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium. The 104-year-old college football stadium is no stranger to soccer. The 2019 MLS expansion franchise FC Cincinnati has called Nippert home since the club’s launch in 2016.

Previous reporting indicated that Paul Brown Stadium was under consideration to host the match. Home of the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals, the 65,515-seat Paul Brown is more than twice the size of Nippert soccer capacity of 32,250. However, Paul Brown’s field dimensions would have left the pitch short of the required international regulations. Nippert can accommodate a full-width international pitch thanks to renovations made ahead of FC Cincinnati’s 2017 USL season.

It has also been confirmed that a temporary grass surface will be brought in and placed over the existing playing surface for the US-Venezuela match. Nippert had new, international-grade synthetic turf installed before the MLS season. 

While this will be the first stop in Cincinnati for the U.S. men, U.S. Soccer has visited the Queen City before. The women’s national match has played in Cincinnati three times. Most recently, the women defeated New Zealand 5-0 at Nippert Stadium in September 2017. That match was played on Nippert’s synthetic turf.

Ticket details are not yet known for the June 9 match against Venezuela, although current 2019 FC Cincinnati season ticket holders are expected to have an exclusive purchase period. 

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