The United States men's national team elected to play their tuneup game for the Gold Cup against the World Champion Spanish squad. What they was an absolute master class from the Spanish in a 4-0 hiding at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Santi Cazorla scored twice and Alvaro Negredo added another in the span of 13 minutes as Spain just overwhelmed an undermanned US squad in the first half. The US went into halftime with their worst deficit in 21 years. However, it's worth noting that it was basically a full strength Spain squad against a US team that was without guys like Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Steve Cherundolo and Carlos Bocanegra all of whom will be first choice starters when the Gold Cup begins in three days. At the half, USMNT coach Bob Bradley elected to bring in Dempsey, Bradley and Cherundolo and the play for the US improved notably. After the game, Tim Howard was asked about the effect the introduction of the senior players had on the squad.
"It was always going to be a difficult game but when you bring some more experienced players on... Look it couldn't' get any worse than it was in the first half so any improvement was welcome. "
That said, the US never really looked like scoring and Spain still controlled the game for the most part. Fernando Torres scored the lone goal in the second half, meaning he had as many goals in one half against the US as he did in a half season in the Premier League with Chelsea, who bought him for about $80 million in January.
Howard put it pretty simply at the conclusion of the game when he said, "It's not a lot of fun when you get beat like that."
It was a fantastic display from Spain, who showed very clearly today why they are indeed the best team in the world. When you can go up 3-0 in the first half and then bring on Andres Iniesta and Fernando Torres... you're good.
The US will begin play in the Gold Cup in three days when they take on Canada.