World champions Spain meet 22nd-ranked team USA on an international friendly on the weekend and Xabi Alonso knows it is an important fixture.
The Real Madrid midfielder says the Spanish players are well aware of the talents of the US team whilst making it clear that it is vital to come away from Foxborough's Gillette Stadium on Saturday with a victory.
"The club season is over but these are important games to end with a good taste in our mouth," Alonso told media at a press conference on Thursday. "To do that, we need to start the game on the right foot against the USA, a team which we know well.
"In the (2009) Confederations Cup (when Spain lost 2-0 in the semi-finals), we just didn't have a good game and it was a lesson for all of us. [The US] will hope to get a good result, but hopefully it won't repeat itself."
And Alonso said that it was great to see football, or soccer, starting to become such a well-followed sport in the US.
"It's great news that soccer has that hook and that people want to see their national team and us as well," Alonso said of US fans. "It'll be big news that will take on a lot of importance in this country."