The U.S. women’s national team has lost consecutive matches for the first time in more than five years after a 2-0 defeat to Spain in a friendly Tuesday in Pamplona, Spain.
The Americans failed to rebound from a 2-1 loss to England on Friday that ended a 13-game winning streak.
Laia Codina put the Spaniards ahead in the 39th minute and Esther Gonzalez doubled the lead in the 72nd.
The last time the U.S. lost two straight was during the 2017 SheBelieves Cup — 1-0 to England on March 4 and 3-0 vs. France three days later.
The match was played amid turmoil in the Spanish program. The squad lacked 15 players who refused to play for coach Jorge Vilda, citing his management and coaching style as having a negative impact on their mental health. Of the 11 starters for the quarterfinal match against eventual Euro 2022 champion England this summer, only four are on the current 23-player roster.
The Spanish federation said the protesting players must apologize before they will be allowed back.
In addition to the 15 holdouts, stars Alexia Putellas and Jenni Hermoso were unavailable due to knee injuries. Without them, Spain still tied Sweden 1-1 in a friendly Friday.
The U.S. was also minus several standouts, including injured Alex Morgan and Mallory Pugh, who had a family commitment.
While the U.S. fielded a young team, it was essentially going against Spain’s ‘B’ team, which took the lead in the 39th minute off a corner kick. The clearance bounced around in the box and Codina toe-spiked the ball into the goal.
Casey Murphy kept the Americans within one with a reaching right-handed parry of a shot by Olga Carmona with 20 minutes remaining. But Murphy was helpless to stop the unmarked volley by Gonzalez from the middle of the box off Oihane Hernandez’s cross.
The USWNT next plays Germany twice, Nov. 10 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and three days later in Harrison, N.J.
–Field Level Media