There were glimpses for most within this area to cherish, flashbacks to the skill and vision Wayne Rooney had delivered to England over a now complete career, and celebrated in 120 games. The former captain's last participation was 32 minutes, a period illuminated by a strong turn on the left foot to ward off a kick that was claimed, a wonderful pass to Ruben Loftus-Cheek and a kick in injury time that almost, squirmed under Brad Guzan and in his script. The script did not extend to a 54th international goal.
It did not matter, and he played his time with a smile. Gareth Southgate could also be satisfied with the abundance he had seen. Jadon Sancho, as a livewire on the flank, has already reported his explosive talent at this stage, and will have enjoyed his passing routines with Rooney while the clock marked the time of 33 years at the moment. level. England's past and future combined into this exchange only within half the opponent.
Rooney will remember everything from the honor guard of the players through which he marched before kickoff, carrying his youngest son, Cass, even to the conversation he had with a lone field invader, apparently determined to convey his best. England will go ahead without him and can beat the League of Nations group by beating Croatia on Sunday. His momentum was maintained.
So much that preceded the farewell will have pleased Southgate. Admittedly the United States seemed to be a side in transition or even traumatized by its non-involvement in the summer festival in Russia, but the way the hosts sank through them hastily noticed that the second string as the first choice. selection, are driven by unshakable conviction in the present. It had been 38 years since England last played an inexperienced team with 94 games between them in the opening XI while Rooney was still 119 among the substitutes. However, there was no visible flutter in any of his progressive games. There was simply enthusiasm, even delight.
The youngest Englishman on display was one of the safest. It was fitting that Sancho should appear at Wembley the night Rooney, when the tyrant breathed in his teens, bowed in style. The 18-year-old has brought all the dynamic form he has thrilled so many times to Borussia Dortmund since his courageous decision to prioritize the lifelong home football on the outskirts of a Manchester City. Some of the stocking's touches were hypnotic, his feet fast were a blur of tricks and flicks to haunt DeAndre Yedlin and Matt Miazga, Jorge Villafaña or John Brooks on a worn backline. So much for nerves in a first senior start for your country.
It was his head calm among panicked opponents within the penalty area of visitors, and pass carefully pondered by an overlapping Trent Alexander-Arnold overseas, which provided the second of England's night. The defender tore his first goal in England, crossing Brad Guzan and inside the far post. It was only a few seconds since the former Aston Villa goalkeeper was collecting the ball after Jesse Lingard's sumptuous shot passed him from inside the area. The Manchester United striker, like Dele Alli, had been a summer-only defender for injuries to stop progress so far. That pair may have fallen marginally in the Southgate hierarchy, as they all bet their claim here for inclusion on Sunday.
In fact, many did. Ben Chilwell was rampant on the left, often combining with Sancho or Alli. Harry Winks was busy and effective in his first home match. Callum Wilson, who had been loaned to Tamworth six years ago, may have scored early just to get a bit hesitant in the center of Lingard with the effort dribbling. He would fall under the challenge of Guzan moments later, ensuring the left leg made contact with the onrushing goalkeeper, only to the Spanish official to dismiss the penalty feather.
The first England striker in Bournemouth's history roamed the canals disinterestedly, carrying a threat that bore fruit 13 minutes from the end as he forced a sip of Guzan from Fabian Delph's cross. He deserved that reward.
It had been in the middle of the half, if anywhere, where the English felt more hesitant. Lewis Dunk, the first Brighton player since Steve Foster in 1982 to grace the main team, took time to adjust. It had been his surrender, then eager to dive into Christian Pulisic, who presented visitors with his best chance only for Jordan Pickford, a last and comforting line of defense, to block.
Alex McCarthy became the third newcomer to the hosts after the break and was fortunate Bobby Wood to have released a free-for-all on the bar as England's time slowed amid the changes but everything was comfortable and ultimately, commemorative.