Well, the rumor mill has finally stopped spinning and as of June 28th, 2018 it has become official – Wayne Rooney is coming to Major League Soccer.
After several months of speculation, D.C. United have acquired the Englishman for two and a half years. On June 27th, pictures on social media showed Rooney on his way to the nation’s capital.
“It is fantastic to be joining D.C. United at such an exciting time in the club’s history with the new stadium opening in just a few weeks,” Rooney said in a statement. “Moving to America and MLS fulfills another career ambition for me. I have the hunger to be a success here and will give D.C. 100 percent — as I have always done for every team I have ever played for.
Good ol’ Ron Ron left Manchester United with 253 goals, making him the all-time leading goal scorer. He also won English Premier League titles ranging from 2006 – 2013 and is the 2nd all-time leading goal scorer in the EPL with 208.
Rooney finished last season at his boyhood club, Everton, where he amassed 11 goals in 40 matches across all competitions.
The Ex-Everton player is coming mid-MLS season, while D.C. United currently sit in last place (11th) in the Eastern Conference. For most of the clubs below the red line, it’s game time; If he expects a vacation, supporters will eat him alive. They (along with the rest of the club) will expect immediate return on investment.
United also look to gain reinforcements in other areas and not necessarily on the field.
After playing a majority of its games away and on temporary venues, the Red and Black look to come home to a brand new, state-of-the-art facility – Audi Field.
The newly constructed soccer specific stadium is located in Buzzard Point, Washington D.C. and will accommodate 20,000 fans on July 14th against the Vancouver Whitecaps. The players hope this will turn Audi Field into an intimidating atmosphere, resembling that of Atlanta, Portland and Seattle, and garner some winning momentum.
While many are scratching their heads at United’s motive with acquiring an aging European payer, one person in particular reached out to the media to praise the player.
Per ESPN Jose Mourinho was supportive of Rooney’s move across the pond. “He decides the MLS and in MLS, you have always some iconic players that are going to end their career there,” said Mourinho. “You had [Steven] Gerrard, you had [Frank] Lampard, you had [Patrick] Vieira, you had so many of them. David Beckham played there, too.
“You now have Zlatan [Ibrahimovic], you now have Wayne. I just hope he enjoys it and, of course, he’ll bring the attention that the MLS needs to attract more people, to steal some people from the other sports that normally the American people are in love with.”