By James Nalton, Football Whispers
The match at Wembley between England and the United States Men’s National team produced an interesting list of numbers and statistics, but was dominated by the all-time records of an England great currently plying his trade stateside in Major League Soccer.
Wayne Rooney was handed one last appearance in an England shirt, and, as his performances in DC United have also shown, he still has what it takes to play at this level.
The 33-year-old moved onto 120 caps for England following this farewell game which saw his side defeat the United States Men’s National Team 3-0.
The forward is England’s all-time top scorer, but he was unable to improve on his England goal tally of 53 thanks to a couple of routine stops from USMNT goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
Stats From The Game
England outshot the US but they weren’t as far ahead as you might expect in this area, with the total shot count being 15-10.
However, seven of England’s shots were on target, while the US only managed to test the opposition goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford, twice. Half of the USMNT’s shots were also from outside the box, meaning they were generally less threatening than the 12 shots England had from inside the box.
This was in part due to poor decision making in the final third, as it was often the case that the player releasing the shot still had other options ahead of him but chose not to pass.
England dominated the game in terms of keeping the ball, enjoying 61 percent of the possession, completing 692 passes to the USA’s 448.
Overall pass completion was fairly even at 88 percent to 85 percent in favour of the home side.
This was a young USMNT team, and their starting XI average age was 24 years, 278 days.
It was the first time the back four of DeAndre Yedlin, Matt Miazga, John Brooks and Jorge Villafaña had played together, which was reflected in their performance. Brooks led his team for interceptions in this game with five, while he was also the team’s most accurate passer, completing 95.1 percent of his passes.
The side attempted 14 crosses, with only two finding their target, a stat which highlights their wastefulness and lack of composure in attacking areas.
Will Trapp, Timothy Weah, and Bobby Wood have made the most appearances for the USMNT in 2018, with eight apiece.
The USMNT’s all-time record against England now reads two wins, eight losses, and one draw, but they have lost all three games played in England.
Christian Pulisic was the best player on the park for the US, even though he also struggled to finish moves off in the final third.
The match was just his second appearance in a USMNT jersey this season and his first against European opposition, with his other start coming against Bolivia back in May.
The Borussia Dortmund man was up against his Dortmund team-mate Jadon Sancho for the first time at international level.
Pulisic managed four of his side’s ten shots, and only he and Julian Green managed a shot on target. His was the best chance, coming in the first half when he put himself through on goal but saw his shot saved by Jordan Pickford.
He was involved in 69 actions during the game — the most of any USMNT player bar the two centre backs Matt Miazga and John Brooks, who had 75 and 82 actions respectively by the end of the game.
Pulisic completed more succesful dribbles than any other player on the pitch, with seven, four more than the next best player in this regard — England’s Ben Chilwell.
He was the most fouled player, level with England’s Dele Alli having been pulled up unfairly by the opposition on three occasions.
Perhaps more surprisingly, but maybe not for those who’ve watched him at Dortmund, he made more tackles than anyone else in USA colours with four.
In order to change the stat which matters -- the scoreline -- the USMNT need to become less reliant on Pulisic, and look to work as a team unit. There were occasional encouraging signs here, but there is still plenty of work to do.