Gold Cup: Canucks feel it wasn't the real US vs. Spain

DETROIT — The US soccer community seemed to shiver with anguish after the US national team fell 4-0 to Spain in a friendly on Saturday. Words like “embarrassment” and “ashamed” were used, and some even felt it was worth a call for coach Bob Bradley’s job.

But the players and coaches from the US’ first opponent in the Gold Cup — a tournament that is decidedly not friendly — aren’t reading anything into the Spain game.

“I mean, they played against Spain,” New York Red Bulls and Canada midfielder Dwayne De Rosario said on Monday evening. “They played against the best in the world, and that’s where the US is at. They want to be No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and, in order to be there, you've got to compete with the best.”

The Canadians, who play the Americans on Tuesday at Ford Field (8 pm ET, FOX Soccer) watched the US-Spain game while in camp in Toronto. Head coach Stephen Hart, in fact, watched it twice. But he didn’t let on that he saw anything different the second time around.

“There’s not much you can take from the game,” Hart said. “They were experimenting. They know what their best team is. [US coach] Bob Bradley knows that team inside out. I think what he was looking for in the Spain game is probably what’s his bench is going to be.”

The loss to Spain left the Americans winless in four games in 2011. They have lost their last two and failed to score. Does all of that mean the United States are vulnerable?

“Not at all,” Hart said. “I think exhibition is exhibition. Once the US steps on a field in a competition, they’ve been here before. They’ve been in a lot of big competitions. And they’ll be prepared.”