Top-Ranked Spain Tops U.S. 4-0 in Foxborough, Mass.
June 4, 2011
© John Todd/isiphotos.com
• Attendance of 64,121 is Largest Crowd for MNT in the State of Massachusetts and throughout New England
• U.S. Travels to Detroit Tonight to Prepare for Opening Match of the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Tuesday, June 7, against Canada at Ford Field
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (June 4, 2011) – The U.S. Men’s National Team fell to current FIFA World Cup Champion Spain 4-0 on Saturday night in front of a record crowd of 64,121 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
Balancing the amount of time his players would receive against Spain with the more important opening match of the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup just three days away, U.S. head coach Bob Bradley utilized an inexperienced line-up and the current FIFA World Cup Champion was able to capitalize.
In a span of less than 15 minutes in the first half, Spain was able to take a three-goal lead that they would only add to in the second half. Santiago Carzola notched two of the first three, bookending his around a finish by Alvaro Negredo. Fernando Torres finished the day off with his own strike in the 73rd minute. Spain improved their record to 57-4-4 since November 2006.
The U.S. players and staff left for the airport directly after the match to travel to Detroit in preparation of their Group C opener on Tuesday, June 7, against Canada in the Gold Cup. The match kicks off at 8 p.m. ET at Ford Field and will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer. Fans can also follow live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer. For more information, visit goldcup.org.
“Spain is a great team,” said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley. “It’s a tough test to play against them at any time and it becomes an even tougher on the eve of the Gold Cup. We’ve always chosen to take these challenges and we want to play against the best teams because it’s what the game at the highest level is all about. It’s the best way for our team to improve. Hopefully there are things that we can take from this game that will not only help us during the next three weeks but things that we can take that will help us as we move forward again.
Adding to the challenge of facing one of the best teams in the world, Landon Donovan, the USA’s all-time leading scorer, was deemed unavailable due to an illness hours before the match. Resting players for the Gold Cup, Carlos Bocanegra was not named to the game day roster, while Clint Dempsey and Steve Cherundolo started on the bench, leaving goalkeeper Tim Howard, who wore the captain’s armband, and Oguchi Onyewu as by far the most experienced veterans in the starting line-up.
The young and inexperienced U.S. was outmatched early in front of 64,121 fans, the largest crowd to watch the U.S. MNT in the State of Massachusetts and throughout the New England area. Wearing their red jersey for the third game in a row, the U.S. had little possession and trouble tracking Spain’s attacking players.
After knocking on the door a few times, Spain broke through with a classy finish in the 28th minute. After a nice give and go, David Silva slipped into the left side of the penalty area and cut back against defender Jonathan Spector to buy some space and time. He slipped the ball back toward the top of the penalty area to a streaking Cazola who hit a left-footed strike into the upper-left corner past a helpless Howard.
Four minutes later, Spain doubled their lead, this time striking in a much more direct fashion. With the ball in the center circle, Xabi Alonso lofted in a ball down the middle of the field for Negredo who sliced in behind Tim Ream and took a couple touches before finishing past Howard with a calm left-footed strike from 12 yards out.
The U.S. earned one of their best chances in the 40th minute when Robbie Rogers was able to get a good look inside the penalty area. After challenging for a high ball near the top of the penalty area with Gerard Pique, he found himself with a clear shot on goal but his left footed strike went wide right.
A minute later, Spain scored their final goal of the half and put the game virtually out of reach. Working down the left flank, the ball was slipped into the path of a streaking Silva along the edge of the penalty area. Silva took a touch before sending the ball across the face of the goal where David Villa missed his attempt but an unmarked Carzorla was darting into the box and had an easy left-footed finish from the penalty spot.
Keeping with his strategy of resting players in preparation for the Gold Cup, Bradley made five halftime substitutions, bringing on Steve Cherundolo, Clint Dempsey, Chris Wondolowski, Clarence Goodson and Michael Bradley. Later in the half, Alejandro Bedoya was the sixth and final replacement when he came on for Juan Agudelo.
The U.S. team took advantage of their fresh legs and increased its possession during the second half. The veterans made an impact on the game and nearly created a goal in the 70th minute. A streaking Sacha Kljestan got behind the Spanish defense, but Joan Capdevila caught up to him and slowed him down. He cut the ball back from just outside the box for Dempsey, who had continued his run straight down the center of the field, but lost his footing while trying to control the pass and the defense was able to clear.
Spain tallied their final goal in the 73rd minute with an impressive series that included only seven touches between winning the ball in their own half and the final finish from 10 yards out. Midfielder Borja Valero won the ball inside the center circle and darted forward before delivering a perfect pass to split Cherundolo and Goodson and lead Torres towards goal. Torres took a touch at the top of the box and then, with Cherundolo closing, hit a right-footed toe-poke past Howard, off the lower right post and in.
The U.S. will seek its fifth confederation championship title when they compete in the 2011 Gold Cup. After their first match against Canada, the team travels south to face Panama on June 11 at 8 p.m. ET at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., before rounding out group play against Guadeloupe on June 14 at the brand new LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City, with kickoff slated for 8 p.m. CT. Both games will be live on Fox Soccer.
Before the match, The National Soccer Hall of Fame inducted five new members in a ceremony next to the stadium. The 2011 Induction Class includes Cobi Jones, Eddie Pope and Earnie Stewart in the Player category, Bruce Murray as a Veteran and Bob Gansler as a Builder. The five were introduced on the field before the game, along with current members of the Hall of Fame.
-- U.S. Men’s National Team Game Report --
Match: USA vs. Spain
Date: June 4, 2011
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Gillette Stadium – Foxborough, Mass.
Kickoff: 4:30 p.m. ET
Weather: 64 degrees; sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
ESP 3 1 4
ESP – Santiago Cazorla (David Silva) 28th minute
ESP – Álvaro Negredo (Xabi Alonso) 32
ESP – Santiago Cazorla (David Silva) 41
ESP – Fernando Torres (Borja Valero) 73
USA: 1-Tim Howard (capt.); 2-Jonathan Spector, 5-Oguchi Onyewu (21-Clarence Goodson, 46), 15-Tim Ream, 14-Eric Lichaj; 16-Sacha Kljestan, 13-Jermaine Jones (4-Michael Bradley, 46), 7-Maurice Edu (6-Steve Cherundolo, 46), 19-Robbie Rogers (8-Clint Dempsey, 46); 17-Jozy Altidore (11-Chris Wondolowski, 46), 9-Juan Agudelo (22-Alejandro Bedoya, 65)
Subs not used: 23-Marcus Hahnemann
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
ESP: 23-Pepe Reina (1-Iker Casillas,76);15-Sergio Ramos (11-Joan Capdevila, 65), 3-Gerard Piqué, 2-Raúl Albiol, 17-Álvaro Arbeloa; 16-Sergio Busquets (8-Bruno Soriano, 46), 7-David Villa (6-Andrés Iniesta, 46), 14-Xabi Alonso (capt.), 20-Santiago Cazorla; 21-David Silva (10-Borja Valero, 65), 22-Álvaro Negredo (9-Fernando Torres, 46)
Subs not used: 4-Carlos Marchena, 5-Andoni Iraola, 12-Victor Valdés, 18-Pedro Rodríguez, 19-Fernando Llorente, 24-Manu del Moral
Head Coach: Vicente del Bosque
Stats Summary: USA / ESP
Shots: 6 / 20
Shots on Goal: 1/ 8
Saves: 2 / 1
Corner Kicks: 2 / 3
Fouls: 11 /9
Offside: 1 / 4
Referee: Roberto Silva (URU)
First Asst: Pablo Fandino (URU)
Second Asst.: Miguel Angel Nievas (URU)
Fourth Official: Mark Geiger (USA)
Budweiser Man of the Match: Clint Dempsey