Cazorla scores twice as Spain beats US 4-0
After allowing three goals in a 13-minute span, United States
goalkeeper Tim Howard pounded his hands on his thighs in
And there was still another half to go.
”When you get knocked down, you see what you’re made of,”
Howard said Saturday after World Cup champion Spain overwhelmed the
U.S. 4-0 in an exhibition that the Americans used to tune up for
the Gold Cup. ”I put it behind me. I’ve been at this a while. When
you play the best team in the world, they can make you look silly
Santi Cazorla scored twice as Spain avenged a loss in the
semifinals of the 2009 Confederations Cup, when the Americans won
2-0 to snap top-ranked Spain’s 35-match winning streak. Alvaro
Negredo and Fernando Torres also scored for Spain, which started
just six of the 11 players it began the World Cup final with last
It was the most one-sided loss for the Americans since a 5-0
defeat by Mexico in the 2009 Gold Cup final.
”We choose always to take these kinds of challenges, play these
kinds of teams, because we feel it’s the best way to improve,”
U.S. coach Bob Bradley said. ”Look, when you challenge yourselves
against the best teams, you have to be accept that this is the way
it’s going to be sometimes.”
The United States was missing Landon Donovan, who was back at
the hotel with an undisclosed illness. Bradley said Donovan was
feeling weak, but that he is expected to be ready for Tuesday’s
Gold Cup opener against Canada in Detroit.
Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley and Steve Cherundolo came in as
second-half substitutes, and captain Carlos Bocanegra didn’t
”I think we dominated, but we are also aware that they had
important players who did not play,” Spain coach Vicente del
The international goals were the third and fourth for Cazorla in
his career. He had not scored for Spain since a September 2009
World Cup qualifier against Estonia.
Spain was without Carles Puyol, who was recovering from knee
surgery, and Xavi Hernandez is resting after a grueling season for
Barcelona. Iker Casillas, Andres Iniesta and Pedro Rodriguez were
on the bench for the start.
Seven of Spain’s starters were from Barcelona and Real Madrid,
which played each other in four intense matches over 18 days.
Barcelona won the home-and-home to advance to the Champions League
final, Madrid won the Copa del Rey, and the teams drew in the
The crowd of 64,121 was the largest to watch a U.S. soccer game
in New England, though just a bit short of a sellout. Many were
red-clad supporters of Spain, and those there to see the Americans
lost their enthusiasm quickly once Spain got started.
The most spirit they could muster was a ”Let’s Go, Bruins!”
chant in support of the NHL team scheduled to play the Vancouver
Canucks in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals later Saturday
Spain dominated the game, taking 20 shots to six for the U.S.
After one goal was waved off for offside, Negredo hit the crossbar
in the 13th minute. Spain finally scored in the 28th when David
Silva worked the ball in and sent it across to Cazorla, who put it
into the upper corner of the net to the goalkeeper’s right.
In the 32nd minute, Xabi Alonso popped one from behind midfield
to Negredo as he outran the defense, collected it outside the box
and left-footed it into the net.
Cazorla scored again in the 41st minute, leaving Howard in
”We got our butts kicked,” Howard said afterward, adding with
a smile. ”If we win the Gold Cup in a couple of weeks, nobody will
Torres made it 4-0 in the 73rd, knocking it off one goalpost,
then the other before it trickled over the line. It was the 27th
international goal for ”El Nino,” but just his second for club or
country since joining Chelsea on Jan. 31 for a British record
transfer fee of $80 million.