Landon Donovan has starred in both the MLS
and European soccer. On Tuesday night, he got a firsthand look at the
gap between the two, which appeared as wide as the Atlantic Ocean.
Spanish League power Real Madrid rolled to a lopsided 5-0 victory over a
squad of MLS All-Stars as David Beckham scored on a free kick and fellow
international superstar Ronaldo added a pair of trademark goals.
Before the game at Santiago Bernabeu stadium, Donovan said the Americans
were here to do more than stargaze.
"We have not had the best preparation because we only arrived on Monday
and we are playing today," he told a local newspaper. "However, neither
do we have any pressure on us because it is not an official game, so we
have to go on the pitch and try and enjoy things.
"We have not come to Spain to watch how well Madrid's star players
perform. We want to compete and to win. We have our minds set on playing
a good game and we want to win it."
The Americans did not come close against Real Madrid, which used a
loaded lineup of Beckham, Ronaldo, Raul, Roberto Carlos and Zinedine
Zidane. However, much attention was focused on Jonathan Woodgate, who
made his long-awaited debut for the Spaniards after missing 16 months
with a muscle problem.
The former Newcastle and Leeds United defender came on in the 85th
minute to an ovation and touched the ball on just three occasions. He
will play again in a practice game Wednesday.
Beckham curled a 22-yard free kick that went in off the post to open the
scoring in the 23rd minute. Two runs by Ronaldo followed by unstoppable
shots on either side of halftime put the result beyond doubt.
Jose Maria Guti and Raul solved MLS goalkeeper Matt Reis in the final 10
minutes to close the scoring.