The United States men’s national team fell to England 3-0 Thursday at Wembley Stadium in the second-to-last international friendly of the year. England’s top scorer, Wayne Rooney, walked onto the pitch with his four sons before the game to be honored ahead of his 120th and final appearance for the Three Lions.
Rooney retired from international soccer in August 2017. At the time, he rejected a call up from England manager Gareth Southgate. More than an year later, after a productive run in MLS with D.C. United, Rooney accepted the England call-up for a final farewell match. He came out of retirement for the match that honored his charitable foundation.
— England (@England) November 15, 2018
The USMNT, which has been without a permanent head coach for 13 months, boasted a young starting XI captained by Wil Trapp.
Midfielder Christian Pulisic made his return to the national team for the first time since the May 28 international friendly against Bolivia. US fans finally saw the highly sought-after midfield trio of Pulisic, Weston Mckennie and Tyler Adams, but the combination came too late. Pulisic and Mckennie started on the wing and as a defensive midfielder, respectively, while Adams subbed on in the 62nd minute. Mckennie subbed off less than 15 minutes later.
Pulisic and striker Bobby Wood both shot four times, but just two U.S. shots landed on target.
Remarkably, this is Pulisic's first U.S. senior appearance against a European opponent.
— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) November 15, 2018
England controlled the game from the starting whistle. In the first half, the Three Lions scored twice in two minutes. Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard rocked an 18-yard shot into the upper corner over the outstretched hands of goalkeeper Brad Guzan. Liverpool youngster Trent Alexander-Arnold added the second for England. Striker Callum Wilson, 26, scored the final insurance goal for England during his national team debut.
Rooney donned the captain’s band for the last time, coming on in the 58th minute for Lingard. Just over 10 minutes in, Rooney evaded U.S. midfielder Kellyn Acosta to get a shot on target, but Guzan easily saved the ball.
Rooney got a second chance in stoppage time at the top of the box. Marked by defenders Matt Miazga and DeAndre Yedlin, he settled for a soft shot. Guzan, again, made the save. The all-time career goal record for England will remain at 53 under Rooney’s name for now.
The USMNT has one final game this year Nov. 20 at 2:45 p.m. ET at Cristal Arena in Genk, Belgium, against Italy.