England Beat USA 3-0 in Wayne Rooney's Final International Match

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistNovember 15, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 15: Jadon Sancho of England is challenged by Weston McKennie of the United States during the International Friendly match between England and United States at Wembley Stadium on November 15, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

England beat the United States 3-0 in an international friendly at Wembley Stadium on Thursday. The game was a sendoff for record-goalscorer Wayne Rooney on a night when Jadon Sancho and Callum Wilson thrived during their senior debuts for the Three Lions.

Sancho assisted England's second goal by teeing up Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold after Jesse Lingard had given the hosts the lead. Bournemouth striker Wilson added a third for England 13 minutes from time when he met a Fabian Delph cross.

    

Christian Pulisic is Not Ready for EPL

Christian Pulisic recently expressed his desire to play in the Premier League one day, amid links to Chelsea, per Ed Aarons of the Guardian. Based on the evidence at Wembley, though, the 20-year-old Borussia Dortmund forward isn't ready for England's top flight.

Pulisic wasted his chance to show suitors what he'd add to the Premier League after he struggled to assert himself in the final third. He looked lost up against an England back four that had never played together before, a unit featuring senior international debutant Lewis Dunk.

Getting involved in support of lone striker Bobby Wood proved a challenge for Pulisic. He often drifted too deep to try and get on the ball, but he was late getting forward when opportunities to break arose.

On the rare occasions he did get on the ball, Pulisic fluffed his lines where it mattered most. He spurned a glorious chance after his own hard running had put him one-on-one with Three Lions goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

One touch too many touches narrowed the angle for Pulisic who saw a tame effort saved from close range. The miss spoke to the obvious flaw in the youngster's game:

Finishing wasn't the only issue for Pulisic, who made the wrong decision several times between the midfield and forward lines. He took shots on at the expense of releasing runners in behind with smart passing.

Pulisic will have easier games, but his reputation, along with the key No. 10 role handed to him at international level, means it's reasonable to expect more from this burgeoning talent.

   

Jadon Sancho's Rise is Bad News for Marcus Rashford

Pulisic struggled, but his Dortmund teammate Jadon Sancho proved his recent rise isn't restricted to club level. The Manchester City loanee helped improve the fluidity and pace of play along England's forward line.

His stellar debut and ongoing rapid development are great for Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate, but it's bad news for Marcus Rashford. Sancho has showcased the skills to become a feature in Southgate's best front three, a situation potentially leaving Manchester United striker Rashford out in the cold.

England's ideal XI is likely to continue to include Harry Kane through the middle and Raheem Sterling supporting from one flank. It leaves one space open, a position Sancho has already proved he can fill.

The 18-year-old had the visitors' midfield and defence chasing shadows thanks to a series of deft touches early on which helped justify the hype surrounding the winger:

There was more than just a fancy flick or two to Sancho's performance. He proved his knack for the end product by rolling a superbly weighted pass into the path of Alexander-Arnold for England's second goal.

Creativity is fast becoming a niche for Sancho, who is outperforming some of the most accomplished playmakers in European football:

Sancho's eye for a pass, technique and range of movement should put him ahead of Rashford in Southgate's thinking. The latter can operate out wide but is ultimately a natural centre-forward whose pace is best used through the middle.

   

What's Next

England host 2018 FIFA World Cup runners-up Croatia in the UEFA Nations League on Sunday, while the USA travel to Italy for another friendly on Tuesday, November 20.

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