Soccer, however, is not his game. Baseball and basketball are the sports he grew up with. The same applies to his soccer team. Security gains in the area have not been replicated on the field of play.
As Iraqi player Raad Hassan told ABC News, "The Americans aren't bad, but our team is better."
That proved to be something of an understatement. The U.S. team went down 8-0 against the Multaka village side. In the first two games of the series, the men of the U.S. Army conceded 10 goals and scored only two.
Undeterred, they plan to organize a tournament championship next month that brings together all the teams they've played.
After the Multaka game, American goalkeeper Staff Sgt. Paul Roberts told ABC News that it's taking part that counts.
"Win or lose," he said, "it doesn't really matter."
Venek ruefully agreed, although he conceded that his men are finding it hard to match up to the Iraqi teams.
"Of course, maybe, we picked the wrong sport," Venek said. "They seem to be so good at soccer."