Thursday, June 05, 2008

ATH: USA 0 v Spain1

Spain 1 - United States 0

WASHINGTON, DC (Jun 4, 2008) USSoccerPlayers -- The United States took a lesson from their performance a week ago against England, making tactical and lineup changes that worked for the better part of an hour against a very strong Spanish side.

Though Xavi Hernandez would split the US center backs at the top of the box and beat second half substitute Brad Guzan in the 79th minute for the game's only goal, the real story was the confidence the US showed defending against a creative Spanish attack.

During the first half, the US arguably had the better opportunities, with Freddy Adu finding space in the box and triggering lone striker Eddie Johnson several times. the best chance for the US would come after Adu, Steve Cherundolo, and Tim Howard were subbed off at halftime, with Eddie Johnson almost putting an Eddie Lewis free kick past Iker Casillas.

“We went about the game the right away," Lewis said. "Sometimes, playing the big European teams in Europe, we know that they're going to come at us and we're forced to concede a bit of the field. We had a few chances and we just need to do a little bit better job next time of taking advantage of those.”

Lacking the creative spark Adu provided in the first half, the US focused on defending. As in the first half, they were successful in limiting Spain's clear chances even as Spain dominated the bulk of possession.

"Spain played well but so did we, I thought," US midfielder DaMarcus Beasley said. "We had our chances to get a goal and it just didn't happen for us tonight."

The US moves on to face Argentina at Giants Stadium on Sunday night at 7:30pm ET on ESPN Classic and Galavision.

-- U.S. Men’s National Team Game Report --

Match-up: USA vs. Spain
Date: June 4, 2008
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Estadio El Sardinero – Santander, Spain
Kickoff: 10 p.m. local time
Attendance: n/a
Weather: 59 degrees, light rain

Scoring Summary:
1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
ESP 0 1 1

Scoring Summary:
ESP – 8-Xavi Hernandez (10-Cesc Fabregas) 79th minute.

Lineups:
USA: 1-Tim Howard (18-Brad Guzan, 46); 6-Steve Cherundolo (5-Frankie Hejduk, 46), 22-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (Capt.), 12-Heath Pearce; 8-Clint Dempsey (25-Pablo Mastroeni, 86), 26-Maurice Edu, 4-Michael Bradley, 11-Eddie Lewis (16-Josh Wolff, 70); 9-Eddie Johnson, 19-Freddy Adu (7-DaMarcus Beasley, 46)
Subs not used:, 2-Dan Califf, 23-Jay DeMerit
Head Coach: Bob Bradley

ESP: 1-Iker Casillas (capt.); 11-Joan Capdevila (3-Fernando Navarro, 53), 4-Carlos Marchena, 5-Carlos Puyol, 15-Sergio Ramos; 12-Santi Cazorla, 8-Xavi Hernandez, 14-Xabi Alonso (19-Marcos Senna, 46), 21-David Silva (22-Ruben De La Red, 58); 9-Fernando Torres (17-Daniel Güiza, 46), 10-Cesc Fabregas (18-Álvaro Arbeloa, 84)
Subs not used: 23-Pepe Reina, 13-Andrés Palop; 2-Raúl Albiol, , 7-David Villa, 16-Sergio Garcia, , 20-Juanito
Head Coach: Luis Aragones

Stats Summary:
USA / ESP
Shots 8 / 15
Saves 6 / 2
Corner Kicks 3 / 7
Fouls 15 / 8
Offside 2 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Michael Bradley (caution) 77 minute.

Officials:
Referee: Sokol Jareci (ALB)
First Asst.: Egin Doda (ALB)
Second Asst.: Emilian Bicaku (ALB)
Fourth Official: Alfonso Burrull (ESP)

Game Report and quotes courtesy of US Soccer Communications

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