Wayne Rooney's involvement in England's game against the USA does not devalue the match according to interim States coach Dave Sarachan, who said the forward "will not be out of place".
The friendly was originally billed as a warm-up for England's Nations League clash with Croatia but Rooney's inclusion, two years after his last appearance for the Three Lions, has led pundits like former striker Alan Shearer to suggest the game has been reduced to a testimonial.
Sarachan claimed that Rooney's outstanding performances for DC United in the MLS added credibility to Gareth Southgate's decision to include the 33-year-old.
"If he scores against us tomorrow I won't be happy about the decision!" laughed Sarachan.
"I have thought about it because I know it has caused controversy. My feeling on that is maybe a little different.
"I think a player like Wayne Rooney, who had such a terrific international career, to have an opportunity to reward him for that as a federation, I kind of applaud that.
"I don't think it devalues the game. I would think different if Wayne had retired from football three years ago and they said 'hey, why don't you just jump in' but he is coming off the back of a very impactful season in the States.
"He is fit, I'm sure he will not be out of place, he is in good form. Given all of that, I think when you have the opportunity to reward a player like that, I don't think that is a bad thing at all."
Rooney has scored 12 goals in 21 appearances for DC, helping the club rise from the bottom of the Eastern Conference to finish fourth.
Sarachan paid tribute to the impact England's all-time leading goalscorer has had in the MLS since his transfer from Everton to DC in June, and said there would be an increased interest from across the Atlantic in the action at Wembley.
"The American fan is more sophisticated than you think," Sarachan told reporters.
"Having Wayne there was a big bonus for many people who follow football.
"Having him in this game will see it followed a bit closer, given they have seen him in our country and the impact he has made."
18 de febrero 2019
|Tyson Fury agrees lucrative deal to be co-promoted by Top Rank|
|Leeds United suffer blow with Roofe injury|
|Klopp fears Bayern Munich are ´more dangerous than before´|
|Rosberg: Hamilton favourite again and pressure on Vettel|
|Klopp assessing Lovren ´minute by minute´ ahead of Bayern|
|Paratici confirms Juventus enquiry over Icardi|
|I am still contracted to my team - Savea responds to Toulon owner´s bizarre outburst|
|Carter sad for retiring Lambie but excited to make Racing return|
|Harvey to step down as EFL CEO|
|IAAF calls on five experts as Semenya challenges hyperandrogenism rule via CAS|
|Shaqiri has silenced doubters at Liverpool, says Barnetta|
|I´ll try to keep racking them up - Durant wants more after All-Star MVP|
|Coman back but no Boateng for Bayern Munich´s trip to Liverpool|
|Kaepernick may not want to return to the NFL - Allen|
|Foden dwelling on one mistake over decisive Newport double|
|LeBron focusing on Lakers´ playoff push after All-Star Game|
|Liverpool are favourites against Bayern Munich - Kimmich|
|Squire leaving New Zealand to join Red Hurricanes|
|Liverpool v Bayern Munich: James desperately needs a career boost at Anfield|
|Clash with ultras, stripped of captaincy - a timeline of Icardi´s fractured Inter relationship|
|Ospina will remain at Napoli next season, says Ancelotti|
|Antetokounmpo shines, Nowitzki and Wade can still play – takeaways from NBA All-Star Game|
|Top highlights from Team LeBron´s victory over Team Giannis in NBA All-Star Game|
|Durant earns All-Star Game MVP honours|
|Team LeBron rally past Team Giannis|
|PSG can reach Champions League final without Neymar – Cafu|
|Holmes edges out Thomas to win fifth PGA Tour event|
|Hamlin wins crash-filled Daytona 500|
|Marotta: Inter have never doubted Icardi|
|Guardiola was questioned too – Zola says Sarri needs time|
|Icardi has no intention to leave Inter - Nara|
|Tuchel hails ´exceptional´ PSG mentality|
|Mbappe: PSG team better than my goals record|
|Opelka claims maiden ATP title in New York|
|Mbappe makes Ligue 1 history with wonderful volley|
|Saudi takeover of Manchester United dismissed|
17 de febrero 2019
|Stroman unhappy with Blue Jays´ lack of veteran leadership|
|Sanchez is far from finished at the top level, insists Solskjaer|
|Giggs: Give Man United job to Solskjaer|
|Robinson hails Morris´ ´special´ Roosters debut|
|Saint-Etienne 0 Paris Saint-Germain 1: Magical Mbappe snatches the points|
|Morris: I showed Roosters team-mates what I can do|
|Morris´ debut hat-trick guides Roosters to World Club Challenge glory|
|Icardi did not celebrate Inter win in dressing room, says Spalletti|
|Can: No privileges at Juventus, even for Ronaldo|
|Crusaders coach Robertson signs on for two more seasons|
|20-0 farce slammed as ´insult to sport´ by Italian football chief|
|Messi makes playing for Barcelona easier - Dembele|
|Alisson: Liverpool won´t feel Van Dijk loss against Bayern|
|SPAL coach Semplici left frustrated by VAR controversy|
|Jose Mourinho open to Ligue 1 job|
|Inter 2 Sampdoria 1: Nainggolan salvages win in Icardi´s absence|
|Muguruza and Kasatkina battle their way into Dubai second round|
|Cecchinato hammers home favourite Schwartzman to win Argentina Open|
|Toulouse resist Racing fightback to reclaim top spot|
|Icardi contract talks continue despite losing Inter captaincy|
|Halep ends Van Cleemput collaboration|
|Swansea City 4 Brentford 1: James-inspired turnaround books quarter-final berth|
|Doncaster Rovers 0 Crystal Palace 2: Eagles ease into FA Cup´s last eight|
|Windies star Gayle to retire from ODIs after World Cup|
|Wenger backs Henry to bounce back|
|20-0! Seven-man crisis club Pro Piacenza thrashed in Serie C farce|
|Monfils holds off Wawrinka for Rotterdam title|
|Walker hat-trick gets Rhinos up and running|
|Ramos red card an ´occupational hazard´, says Solari|
|Dan Carter to make Racing 92 return|
|Ashton ruled out for Wales clash|
|Nuno hails cup win as ´moment of joy´|
|Marcelo v Reguilon: Real Madrid mainstay losing left-back battle|
|Marcelo is an institution - Eusebio denies targeting Real Madrid left-back|