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USMNT Humiliated in 3-0 Friendly Loss to Salomon Rondon, Venezuela

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJune 9, 2019

CINCINNATI, OHIO - JUNE 09:  Salomon Rondon #23of the Venezuela men's national  team celebrates after scoring a goal in the first half of the game against  the USA men's national team at Nippert Stadium on June 09, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The United States will go into the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup on the back of consecutive defeats after they were beaten 3-0 by Venezuela in their final warm-up match at Nippert Stadium in Ohio on Sunday.

A humiliating first half for the hosts saw them trailing 3-0 by the break thanks to Salomon Rondon's double and a Jefferson Savarino strike.  

It was enough for Venezuela to earn a comfortable victory, their first win in four matches, and they will now take some much-needed momentum into their 2019 Copa America opener against Peru on June 15.

The U.S., meanwhile, are without a win since March going into their Gold Cup opener against Guyana on June 18. 

The U.S. were actually the more lively side early on, as debutant Tyler Boyd caught the eye with some dangerous deliveries from set pieces.

However, as soon as Venezuela put any pressure on the hosts' frail back line, they were rewarded.

In the 16th minute, U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen could only find an opposition player as he looked to play the ball out from the back.

The ball was put back into the box, and Jhon Murillo laid off to Rondon, who side-footed home with an inventive finish.

On the half-hour, the hosts were exposed again at the back. A long throw was flicked on by Rondon to put Savarino into a fine position on the edge of the box.

The Real Salt Lake forward's initial curled effort came back off the post, but he was fastest to the rebound and doubled Venezuela's lead.

Goalkeeper Wuilker Farinez maintained his side's two-goal lead moments later with a brilliant save from Weston McKennie's low shot.

And Rondon then got his second in the 36th minute as the Stars and Stripes were undone by the simplest ball over the top of the defence from Tomas Rincon.

Rondon shimmied in the box to create space before firing a fine record-breaking finish home, but it was another sign of defensive weakness from the U.S.

The hosts were better after the break, but they could hardly have been worse.

Just after the hour, substitute Jordan Morris fired wide, and then Nick Lima put a brilliant ball into the box that neither Duane Holmes nor Paul Arriola could turn home.

With 12 minutes to go, Morris and Cristian Roldan failed to take advantage of Jozy Altidore's fine flick-on, and Arriola was denied even a consolation by another good Farinez save late on.

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