History will record that the US Men’s National Team lost, 3-0, to England at Wembley on the occasion of Wayne Rooney’s 120th and last cap for the Three Lions.
New York Red Bulls fans will note that their club’s two players in the USMNT squad - Tyler Adams and Aaron Long - were not significant contributors to Rooney’s farewell game. Nor was Rooney, for that matter: he entered the game for England in the 58th minute. Four minutes later, Adams came off the bench for USMNT. Long never made it on the field.
Having traveled all the way to England, Long would doubtless have preferred to at least have a national-team appearance to show for his journey. He at least got to have a nice walk in a park.
Long’s absence from the action in England makes it more likely he’ll see playing time against Italy - USMNT’s opponent on November 20. And then he and Adams can return to RBNY’s preparations for the first leg of the 2018 MLS Eastern Conference Final against Atlanta United, which kicks off on November 25.
USMNT’s November schedule is not one to dwell on. The team has played a solid year of friendlies under interim head coach Dave Sarachan. If any of those games have any great significance to US Soccer at all, that can only be revealed when the team is focused on competitive play again, under the guidance of a head coach who actually has long-term commitment and backing from his employer.
Until then, USMNT is offering opportunity and experience to a wide pool of players. The game against England was one such opportunity and experience. The USA starting lineup included former RBNY center-back Matt Miazga, and ex-Red Bulls Academy forward Tim Weah.
England used the game not just to say goodbye to Wayne Rooney, but also to say hello to a number of players whose national-team careers are just beginning. By the end of the game, Alex McCarthy, Lewis Dunk, and Callum Wilson had made their first appearances for the Three Lions. Jadon Sancho picked up his second England cap.
The home team had the better of the match from start to finish. Goals from Jesse Lingard in the 25th minute and Trent Alexander-Arnold in the 27th minute seemed to settle whatever remote chance of an upset USMNT might have had. In the 77th minute, Wilson added the capper to England’s 3-0 win.
USMNT moves on to face Italy in Belgium on November 20.