Wayne Rooney will make his final appearance as an England player on Thursday when Gareth Southgate’s side welcome the United States to Wembley in a meeting of transatlantic titans.
The D.C. United talisman has made a temporary return from Major League Soccer and will face some familiar faces in London following his expedition into North America’s top division.
It’s been a little more than two years since Rooney—England’s all-time record goalscorer—earned the most recent of his 119 international caps in November 2016, when he captained his country to a 3-0 win over Scotland.
The friendly fixture has been dubbed ‘The Wayne Rooney Foundation International’ after the forward’s charity, but tempers could flare in what promises to be an entertaining affair. Sign up for a free trial with fuboTV to make sure you don’t miss out.
When: Thursday, November 15
Where: Wembley Stadium, London
Time: 3pm ET
TV: Unimas, Univision Deportes Network
Live Stream: fuboTV (try free)
England and the United States have faced off on 10 occasions and had their first meeting in June 1950, per 11v11.com, one of only two times the Stars and Stripes have managed to tame the Three Lions (three if you include their one draw).
Thursday’s hosts have beaten the United States on seven occasions, and interim US Men’s National Team coach Dave Sarachan will need to break a 25-year rut against this foe if he’s to emerge victorious.
It was all the way back in 1993 that the U.S. notched the second and most recent of those two victories over England, a 2-0 win in the now-defunct U.S. Cup. Tom Dooley and Alexi Lalas provided the goals in Boston a quarter-of-a-century ago.
England have since gone unbeaten in their four meetings with the United States—three wins and one draw—the last of those fixtures coming in the 2010 World Cup group stages.
These days, the Stars and Stripes are relying on an upcoming brood of rising American starlets raised under Sarachan. While results have perhaps been lacking, the theory is that the USMNT will benefit greatly in the long run.
The likes of Josh Sargent (18, Werder Bremen), Weston McKennie (20, Schalke), Timothy Weah (18, PSG), and last but not least, Borussia Dortmund’s 20-year-old maestro, Christian Pulisic, are some of the standout names already benefiting from their coach’s faith. Meanwhile, Newcastle United’s DeAndre Yedlin and Everton loanee Antonee Robinson have lightning quickness in the back to complement the aforementioned attack.
But Sarachan’s side have won only once in their last six outings, whereas England are unbeaten in their last three games, and the only defeat suffered since the 2018 World Cup was a narrow 2-1 loss to Spain in the UEFA Nations League.
The home side should perhaps count their blessings that Thursday’s matchup is a friendly, considering all seven of their wins over this opponent have come under non-competitive circumstances. The United States actually boast the superior record in that regard and are unbeaten against England when there’s something to play for.
Rooney started in South Africa eight years ago and will hope to leave his mark against his newly-adopted home, the United States.