Even the return of Christian Pulisic could not produce a goal for the USA. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
LONDON — A United States side averaging 24 years of age fell 3-0 to fifth=ranked England in front of 68,155 fans at Wembley Stadium Thursday night.
Two first-half goals conceded in as many minutes gave the USA a 2-0 deficit at the break, before Callum Wilson’s 77th minute strike closed the scoring for the 2018 FIFA World Cup semifinalists.
Carried by the home atmosphere, England carried much of the early possession, but the USA broke out in the 25th minute and nearly pulled ahead. Weston McKennie played Christian Pulisic, back with the national side after a long layoff, through on goal, with the MNT attacker breaking into the box alone only to see his close-range effort turned away via a brave stop from goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
Galvanized by almost conceding the opening goal, England marched right back down the field and pulled ahead thanks to a highlight-reel strike from Jesse Lingard in the 25th minute. They doubled the lead two minutes later as Jadon Sancho connected with Trent Alexander-Arnold to beat Guzan inside the left post.
The USA came out of the locker room looking more confident, carrying much of the possession in the early second half. A small break in the action occurred in the 58th minute as legendary England striker Wayne Rooney came on to make his 120th and final appearance for the Three Lions.
Not long after Rooney’s entrance, Pulisic came close to cutting into the lead, picking up a ball on the end line only to see his close-range effort turned out for a corner kick in the 62nd. Minutes later, substitute Tyler Adams played a short corner to Pulisic, whose cross picked out Bobby Wood only to see his header graze over the bar.
Despite positive signs in the attack, England came back to grab a third goal, as Fabian Delph’s cross from the left found Wilson, whose one-timed effort beat Guzan inside the near post.
The USMNT closes out the year with a match against four-time World Cup champions Italy at Luminus Arena in Genk, Belgium Tuesday at 2:45 p.m.