USMNT Upset By U.S. Soccer Booking Match At Nippert Stadium
Members of the USMNT are "objecting to the decision" by U.S. Soccer to have the team play a match against Venezuela at the Univ. of Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium, "claiming the playing surface is dangerous," according to the AP. The objection comes because the June 9 match "will be played on a temporary grass field on top of the venue's artificial turf." The U.S. National Soccer Team Players Association "released an April 2 email it said it sent to USSF President Carlos Cordeiro in which players said the friendly 'would be waste of time and resources, is a threat to player safety, and would be damaging to the effort to develop the United States men's national team." The union said that it "received a response from a USSF lawyer on April 8 that the match would be played as scheduled." The match would be the team's "first game in Cincinnati and is likely to be the second of two friendlies for the Americans ahead" of this summer's Gold Cup that begins on June 18 (AP, 4/18). In Cincinnati, Patrick Brennan noted the USWNT "successfully staged an international friendly match against New Zealand" at Nippert Stadium in September '17. The game was played "despite the use of a since-removed and, at the time, somewhat worn artificial playing surface." The playing surface at Nippert Stadium has "twice been replaced by FC Cincinnati, which has poured millions of dollars into facility tweaks and enhancements" (CINCINNATI.com, 4/18).