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June 4, 2011
World Cup Champs put on 4-0 show for U.S.

Spain captain Xabi Alonso tumbles over the USA's Eric Lichaj during Saturday's 4-0 USA loss at Foxborough Stadium.
Spain captain Xabi Alonso tumbles over the USA's Eric Lichaj during Saturday's 4-0 USA loss at Foxborough Stadium.
photo by Tony Quinn
FOXBOROUGH, Mass.---Maybe playing the World Cup champions on the eve of a competition wasn’t such a good idea after all. Spain put on an exhibition in soccer at Gillette Stadium, handing the United States an embarrassing 4-0 loss on Saturday afternoon.

The loss comes as the U.S. is preparing to open the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament on Tuesday, and came with a number of the team’s regulars not in the starting lineup.

The scoreline was much different from the one two years ago in South Africa, when the U.S. upset Spain in the semifinals of the Confederations Cup, winning 2-0, and could have actually been much more lopsided, as Spain had a goal called back for offside, and had a wide open attempt hit the crossbar.

The Spaniards broke through in the 28th minute. David Silva played a ball from the top of the 18 to an unmarked Santi Cazoria, who easily beat goalkeeper Tim Howard with a shot into the roof of the net.

It quickly turned ugly as Spain poured it on, opening up a 3-0 lead in the span of 13 minutes.

Alvaro Negrado made it 2-0 in the 32nd minute, when he got in behind the U.S. defense to latch onto a ball from Xabi Alsonso before putting his shot into the lower right side of the net.

Cazoria scored his second goal of the game in the 41st minute, with most of the U.S. team packed into the 18 yard box. David Silva made a run down the right side and laid the ball back to Cazoria for the finish.

U.S. Coach Bob Bradley made five changes at halftime, bringing in Michael Bradley for Germaine Jones, Clint Dempsey for Robbie Rogers, Chris Wondolowski for Jozy Altidore, Steve Cherundolo for Maurice Edu and Clarence Goodson for Oguchi Onyewu. Landon Donovan did not dress for the match due to illness.

The changes helped stem the tide somewhat for the U.S., but Spain added a fourth goal in the 73rd minute when second half sub Fernando Torres ran through the U.S defense onto a ball from Borja Valero. Torres took a shot from the left side of penalty area that hit the right post and caromed over to the left side of the net before settling in.

Torres had an earlier chance in the 66th minute, when he broke onto a ball from Xavi Alonso, but his shot hit the crossbar.

The two best chances for the U.S came in the final 20 minutes of the game. In the 70th minute, Bradley played a ball up to Sacha Kljestan on the left side. Instead of taking a shot, he dished the ball off to Dempsey, who did not have an opening. Six minutes later, Dempsey played a ball for Alejandro Bedoya who had come in for Juan Agudelo in the 65th minute. Bedoya’s touch was a bit too hard, and Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas, himself a 76th minute sub for starter Pepe Reina, came out to grab the ball on the edge of the box.
The Spaniards played keep away for much of the rest of the game.

The U.S. does not have a lot of time to reflect on the loss, they open the Gold Cup on Tuesday in Detroit against Canada.

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