The United States will enter the CONCACAF Gold Cup on the back of a comprehensive 4-0 defeat to World Cup winners Spain on Saturday.The US were given a lesson by the reigning world and European champions in an international friendly at the Gillette Stadium, Massachusetts.
Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas and Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta began on the bench, while Iniesta’s club teammates Xavi Hernandez and Carlos Puyol were absent.
There was still plenty of talent throughout the team, with Barca’s Champions League winners Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and David Villa starting alongside Real Madrid men Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos.
But it was two of the less familiar faces who seized their opportunity to impress, with Villarreal’s Santi Cazorla and Sevilla man Alvaro Negredo netting the first three goals between them.
Spain, who dominated from the kick-off, had a goal disallowed in the ninth minute before Negredo hit the crossbar four minutes later.
Manchester City’s David Silva crafted the breakthrough goal on 28 minutes, putting through fellow forward Cazorla for his first international strike since September 2009.
Centre forward Negredo made it 2-0 just four minutes later, picking up a trademark Alonso pass before beating Everton’s Tim Howard in the US goal.
And there was time for a third goal before the break. After waiting 22 months to hit the net again in a Spain shirt, suddenly Cazorla had two, collecting Silva’s cutback to beat Howard at close range.
Chelsea striker Fernando Torres made it 4-0 off Borja Valero’s through ball with 17 minutes remaining in the second half.
In other friendly matches on Saturday, beaten World Cup finalists the Netherlands played out a 0-0 draw away to Brazil.
The hosts finished the match in Goias with 10 men after Chelsea midfielder Ramires recieved a second yellow card 11 minutes from time at the Estadio Serra Dourada.
The Czech Republic also played out a goalless draw in their friendly against Peru in Japan.