Gabriel Funes gets first River Plate start

[ARGENTINA] Forward Gabriel Funes, the 18-year-old Texas product who debuted for River Plate last weekend as a second-half sub, started in a 2-0 win over Racing on Thursday in River Plate's second-to-last game the Apertura 2009.

Funes was the winner of Univision's "2008 Sueno MLS" reality tryout TV show and but left  FC Dallas' youth program to try out for River Plate along with his younger brother Ramiro.

River Plate took its 2-0 lead by halftime with a Diego Buonanotte penalty kick and a Matias Abelairas free kick. Funes was replaced in the 75th minute by Mauro Alberto Diaz.

Funes immigrated to Texas from Argentina with his family at age 10 and starred at Arlington High School.

River Plate will finish no better than 13th place. Funes is one of the young players being tested by Coach Leonardo Astrada to rebuild for the Clausura 2010.

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