Wayne Rooney will earn his final international cap when England host the USA on Thursday in a friendly at Wembley, live on Sky Sports.
Although he announced his international retirement in August 2017, Rooney, who is England’s all-time leading goalscorer, will play one final game – named The Wayne Rooney Foundation international – to raise money for his new charity.
He said: “I stayed in contact with the FA. We have been speaking for the past 12 months about ideas. We haven’t done anything like this before but I hope in 10 or 15 years time we are sat here for someone like Harry Kane who could go on and get the goalscoring record.
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“It’s something different. I’m not asking people to agree with it but it is important that there is money raised for the Wayne Rooney Foundation.
“It will be strange but something that I’m looking forward to… It was strange to get back among the players in training, but to run out at Wembley again will be something that I’ll be incredibly proud of and it’ll be a special moment, for sure.”
The former Manchester United and Everton man currently plays his club football in the MLS with DC United, and USA international Timothy Weah is looking forward to lining up against the striker.
“Rooney’s a legend. He’s one of my favourite attackers of all time. He’s a guy I really do look up to. I’m so happy to be playing against him for his last game and I’m definitely going to shake his hand and just tell him ‘thank you for what you’ve done for football’.
“If you look at where DC were when he came to MLS, he changed the team completely by himself. It’s amazing to see what one guy can really do to a team.”
Jadon Sancho is set to be handed his full England debut, according to Sky sources, with Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson also in line to earn his first cap.
Brighton defender Lewis Dunk could also feature after failing to make it onto the field during his first England call-up last month. Kieran Trippier has pulled out of the latest squad due to injury.
Christian Pulisic has returned to the USA squad after missing the last six matches, while Romain Gall – who plays for Malmo – could earn his first international cap.
Wigan defender Antonee Robinson is out with an ankle injury that is likely to sideline him for four weeks.
The 21-year-old, who is on loan from Everton, will return to the Latics after Thursday’s match at Wembley.
Dave Sarachan’s squad currently stands at 26 players, which includes new boy Jonathan Klinsmann, the son of former USA and Germany manager Jurgen.
England and the USA have faced 10 times previously – England have won seven, drawn one and lost two, drawing the most recent game 1-1 in the 2010 World Cup group stage.
This will be only the USA’s third match at Wembley against England – they’ve lost their previous two matches there – both friendlies – in September 1994 and May 2008.
England haven’t lost a home international friendly match since March 2016, when they were beaten 1-2 by the Netherlands; they are unbeaten in 10 since (W6 D4 L0).
This game will be Rooney’s 120th England appearance and his 37th at Wembley – he has scored 19 goals at the stadium, and could become the third player to score 20 for the national team, after Gary Lineker (22) and Bobby Charlton (23).
Rooney has never scored in two previous England appearances against the USA; he has only played more games against three other countries without scoring – Italy (3), Portugal (4) and Wales (5).
Marcus Rashford has scored three goals in his last four England appearances – as many as in his first 25 games combined.
USA have lost only one of their last nine matches against European opposition (W3 D5), a 1-2 defeat to the Republic of Ireland in June.
USA’s last five goals have all been scored by different players (Julian Green, Tyler Adams, Kellyn Acosta, Bobby Wood and Josh Sargent).
I’m not convinced about the USA and I can see this being a comfy exhibition type of game. The visitors will be happy just to be playing at Wembley so it should be easy enough for England – as long as the pitch is alright!
I don’t think Gareth Southgate will play his strongest team with Croatia to come but the likes of Callum Wilson will be desperate to make an impact if he plays, obviously Wayne Rooney wants to go out on a high so I don’t see too many problems coming from America.