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."
|Sterling wants to discuss tackling racism with FA and Premier League|
|Raptors´ VanVleet ends shooting slump after birth of second child|
|Pogba and Hazard to Real Madrid? It´s possible, says Varane|
|Plunkett hails ´special talent´ Archer|
|Solskjaer deserves patience at Manchester United - Van Persie|
|Yankees stay hot, pull away for win over Orioles|
|Three takeaways from Raptors´ Game 4 win over Bucks|
|Well-rounded Raptors level series against Bucks|
|Blues snap 49-year Stanley Cup Finals drought|
|Koscielny slams UEFA after Mkhitaryan withdrawal|
|Del Bosque defends Spanish clubs despite European failure|
|Pulisic keen to match Hazard impact at Chelsea|
|Durant ´100 per cent undecided´ about future, says manager|
|Rodgers says Packers´ new offense is ´going to look different´|
|Beilein explains decision to leave Michigan for Cavaliers|
|Warriors became ´unbeatable´ with Durant, says Green|
|Simeone reaffirms Atletico commitment ahead of rebuild|
|Wallabies star Sio re-signs until 2022|
|Lacazette adamant he´s in the form of his life|
|Cech denies he already agreed to Chelsea sporting director role|
|Fury expects Wilder rematch in March or April 2020|
|Costa avoids bone damage after suffering ankle injury|
|Canada beat USA, who must now face rampant Russia|
|Barty withdraws before rain scuppers play in Strasbourg|
|AFC Champions League Review: Oscar hat-trick helps Shanghai SIPG progress|
|Zverev cruises through in Geneva as Dimitrov crashes out|
|Luka Doncic & Trae Young top 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie first team|
|F1 Raceweek: Can Verstappen stop Hamilton & Bottas in Monaco?|
|Sri Lanka end ODI winless streak in Edinburgh|
|Ratchford set for long injury absence|
|It´s staying up! - Bernardo Silva shows off good-luck Christmas tree|
|Varane vows to stay at Real Madrid for next season|
|Shahzad and Naib star as Afghanistan bounce back in Belfast|
|Argentina has strongest possible squad - Scaloni|
|Kohli expecting his ´most challenging World Cup´ yet|
|Kompany set for Manchester City testimonial at Etihad Stadium|
|Love you man – Lewis Hamilton pays tribute to Niki Lauda|
|Garitano replaces Abelardo as Alaves coach|
|O.J. Simpson´s No. 32 Bills jersey assigned for first time in 42 years|
|Dybala, Aguero in Argentina´s Copa America squad as Icardi is left out|
|Demare opens Giro account after Ackermann crash|
|A world champion with Ferrari and McLaren - Lauda´s Formula One career in numbers|
|Eagles QB Carson Wentz will be full participant in OTAs|
|Deschamps: Pogba and Griezmann must be sure they want to move|
|Emery respects Mkhitaryan decision to miss Europa League final|
|Lauda ´a giant´ of Formula One, says former rival Andretti|
|Lenglet receives first France call-up, Laporte and Lacazette miss out|
|Archer thinks IPL experience gives him World Cup advantage|
|Deschamps rejects Juventus speculation|
|Neuer and James train ahead of DFB-Pokal final|
|Kompany back in Belgium squad|
|Chelsea v Arsenal: UEFA provided ´comprehensive´ Mkhitaryan security plan|
|Leinster and Ireland prop Healy signs new two-year deal|
|Firmino trains alongside Liverpool team-mates|
|England´s Parris joins Champions League winners Lyon|
|I´ve lived the dream - Wallabies legend Smith retires|
|A legend has left us - Button, Howard, Schwarzenegger pay tribute to F1 great Niki Lauda|
|Inspirational athlete and entrepreneur Lauda leaves lasting legacy|
|Arsenal´s Mkhitaryan to miss Europa League final in Baku|
|Giroud extends Chelsea contract|
|De Ligt drops Barcelona hint: It would be nice to play with Frenkie|
|Griezmann rejection ´hurt´ Barcelona, says Xavi|
|Rosberg ´strongly inspired´ by Lauda|
|Borussia Dortmund sign Germany defender Schulz|
|My blood is blue - Giroud relishing facing Arsenal in Europa League final|
|Wolff: Mercedes has lost a guiding light in legendary Lauda|
|Archer, Dawson named in England squad|
|Niki Lauda: Hill mourns ´remarkable´ three-time F1 champion|
|Bale named in Wales training squad amid Madrid exit speculation|
|Osasuna seal LaLiga return|