Reborn in the USA - How Wayne Rooney has reignited his career at DC United

Rooney looked set to retire at boyhood club Everton before making a swift transfer to DC United

Signed from Everton in 2004, Wayne Rooney was an instant hit at Manchester United, scoring over 250 goals and eventually being crowned as the club's all-time top goalscorer. He was similarly influential for England, finding his way into the record books for them as the Three Lions' all-time top goalscorer. With such an eye for goal, it made him a difficult man to face for the most-part of his playing days, but it also showed his age when his record for scoring began to slow.

Despite attempting to get back to his usually prolific ways and even being made to drop deeper into midfield with a view to playing as a potentially more dangerous attacking midfielder, Rooney returned to Everton in 2017. It looked like it would be the place where he would see out his career - especially with such significant ties to Goodison Park since childhood - but after scoring ten goals in his returning term at Everton, he decided to move to the MLS the following summer.

The move appeared to come out of nowhere and there were a lot of critics who saw it as being a way of winding down his career, especially with the current reputation in the MLS for being controversially seen as a retirement home for former greats. Although he faced some criticism for supposedly 'giving up' in leaving the Premier League, his determination has shone through in attempting to improve the fortunes of lowly DC United.

Wayne Rooney Everton Manchester United Old Trafford Premier League
Despite scoring ten goals in his first season back at Everton, Rooney clearly had other plans, prompting his move to Washington.

Moving DC United from the bottom of the table to serious play-off contenders

When Rooney arrived at DC United in June, his new team had taken two wins and five draws from fourteen games, achieving just eleven points from a possible forty-two, and finding themselves stuck at the bottom of the table. He went through a shaky start to life as an MLS player, missing some moderately easy chances and applying fuel to the fire of critics who thought their negative comments over the former Manchester United striker's decline were being justified.

The poor form continued up until DC United's game against Colorado Rapids, where he slotted the winning goal past Tim Howard, who similarly to Rooney had previously played for both Manchester United and Everton. Since that point, Black and Red have found far stronger form, taking ten wins and three draws from seventeen games and securing thirty-three points from a possible fifty-one, as well as transforming the -6 goal difference from before he arrived to show a far more appetising +13.

Such a transformation has been enough to take the previously bottom place Eastern Conference side to sitting at sixth, where if they remain in the same position until the end of the season, they will make it to the play-offs. It's been an unforeseen turnaround and it's hard to praise many other figures at the club than Wayne Rooney, with his arrival forcing other members of the squad to finally reach their fullest potential. Head Coach Ben Olsen has gone as far as making Rooney club captain due to his incredible leadership at the club, as he's clearly leading by example at Audi Field.

Wayne Rooney DC United MLS
Rooney currently possesses a record of nine goals and six assists in seventeen appearances for DC United.

The future looks brighter than ever before at Audi Field

Being rewarded with silverware back in 2013, where they won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, any hopes of DC United being anywhere near as successful in future years were all but dead. Wayne Rooney has completely reignited their chances of at least sealing a place in the play-offs, which was a mere fantasy before the former England captain stepped into the fold.

Past years have seen loads of former footballing heroes moving to the MLS in order to play out their final days before inevitably retiring, and it's been especially underwhelming for players like Andrea Pirlo, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Frank Lampard, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Steven Gerrard, Kaka, Nigel de Jong and the aforementioned Tim Howard, who were all clearly past their best as soon as they began their careers in America. This was an indication that maybe a lot of negative football fans should give the MLS more credit for being a far harder challenge than it looks on paper, as it's clearly shown-up even some of the world's elite when they transferred across the pond.

There have been far more exciting success stories for Bradley Wright-Phillips, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, David Villa, Sebastian Giovinco, Ashley Cole, Liam Ridgewell, Romain Alessandrini, Thierry Henry, Kevin Doyle, Johnny Russell, Giovanni dos Santos and Carlos Vela, who've all thrived through playing in America. While all of these players set their stamp on the MLS, it's fair to say that Wayne Rooney faced a far larger challenge in Washington, making it far more impressive in the way he's turned a bottom place side into a frightening team to go up against.

Wayne Rooney MLS DC United
Whether it's down to regained confidence or a new project to work towards, Wayne Rooney looks more like the leader he once was.

🔵 EVERTON @ 40/1 OR LIVERPOOL @ 6/1 🔴
Deposit min £/$/€10 using promo code 888ODDS • Bet up to £/$/€5 on your selection at normal odds in the regular market • If your selection wins, we’ll pay you out at the normal price and any extra winnings from the advertised enhanced price will be paid to you in Free Bets • Free Bets are granted within 72 hours and expire after 7 days • Free Bet stakes are not included in returns • Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time • Restrictions apply to withdrawals, payment methods and countries & Full T&C’s apply • 18+
Claim Bonus
BET £10 ON FOOTBALL & GET £60 IN FREE BETS!!!! 🔥🔥🔥
Place a pre-match £10 bet on any Football market between 25th Nov - 2nd Dec, at min. odds 1/2 (1.5) — get a total of £60 in free bets, £40 on bet settlement and an additional £20 the following day. Your qualifying bet must settle by Thursday 23:59, 2nd December. Only deposits via Cards will qualify (Apple Pay deposit excluded). T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.
Claim Bonus
BET £5 & GET £20 IN FREE BETS!!!! 😍😍😍
NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY. FIRST SINGLE & E/W BET ONLY. ODDS OF 1/1 OR GREATER. 2 X £10 BET TOKENS. FREE BET STAKES NOT INCLUDED IN RETURNS. FREE BETS EXCLUDE VIRTUALS. FREE BETS ARE NON WITHDRAWABLE. NO FREE BET EXPIRY. ELIGIBILITY RESTRICTIONS. FURTHER T&CS APPLY. 18+. BEGAMBLEAWARE.ORG
Claim Bonus
Money Back as Cash up to £20!
New customers only. Deposit £20 using Debit Card or Trustly. Up to your first £20 of losses will be refunded as CASH within 24 hours of qualifying bet having been settled. T&Cs apply. 18+.
Claim Bonus
BET £10 & GET £30 IN FREE BETS + MAN UTD @ 2/1 OR ARSENAL @ 5/1
Key Terms: 18+. UK/IRE customers only. Mobile only. First single bet only. Max stake £/€10. Available from 8am 30/11/21 until 20:15pm 02/12/21 or until customers first bet is placed. Customers can place one bet on the Man United v Arsenal Special only. One bet per customer, household and IP address only. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
♥️ GET £40 FREE PLAY PLUS A £10 FREE SPORTS BET! ♥️
1st time depositors only. Min. deposit £10. Use code FAPOKER. Free Play given as cash, Spin & Go tickets, and a Sports Free Bet over 6 days. Tickets expire after 24 hours. Withdrawal restricted during bonus period. Terms apply.
Claim Bonus
🔥 BET £10 ON ANY SPORT & GET £20 IN FREE BETS 🔥
18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit,: £10, max £20 free bets valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. begambleaware.org.
Claim Bonus
🤩 BET £10 AT MANSION BET AND GET A £10 FREE BET 🤩
New customers only. Min deposit and bet £10 (£20 if E/W bet) from UK debit card only. Min odds evens (1/5 per leg in multi selection). £10 Free Bet vaild for 7 days, stake not returned, no Cash Out, max winnings £5k. T&C’s apply. 18+.
Claim Bonus

🏆 Money Back as CASH up to £20 if your first bet loses! 🏆
New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £/€20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. 18+.
Claim Bonus
GET A £20 FREE BET WHEN YOU BET £20 ON ANY SPORT!!!! 😍😍😍
NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY. STRICTLY 18+. MINIMUM DEPOSIT £20. PLACE ANY £20 SPORTSBOOK BET AT MINIMUM ODDS OF 2.0(EVENS) TO RECEIEVE YOUR FREE £20 BET. YOUR £20 FREE BET MUST BE WAGERED TWICE (X2) AT MINIMUM ODDS OF 2.0(EVENS) BEFORE IT BECOMES CASH. IF YOUR FIRST £20 BET WINS, YOU HAVE TO BET £20 AGAIN TWICE AT MIN ODDS OF 2.0(EVENS) OR HIGHER TO TURN THE £20 FREE BET IN TO CASH. BUT YOU DO WIN CASH ON YOUR FIRST BET IF IT WINS - IT'S THE £20 BONUS THAT IS LOCKED UNTIL MINIMUM WAGERING REQUIREMENTS ARE MET.
Claim Bonus
⚡️Get up to £100 in Bet Credits⚡️
Open account offer. Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
GET A £30 MATCHED FREE BET IF YOUR FIRST FOOTBALL ACCA LOSES!!!! 🙌🙌🙌
New UK customers only. Min Deposit: £5. Maximum Free Bet: £30. First bet on a Football multiple with 3+ selections. Overall odds: 3.00 (2/1) or higher. Free Bets available upon settlement of the qualifying bet. Debit card deposits only. This is offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. 18+ BeGambleAware.org Full terms apply. 18+.
Claim Bonus
🌟 Bet £5 & get £30 in bonuses! 🌟
18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £5 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days of registering, no cashout. Get 2x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus £10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw max £250. 7 day bonus expiry. Card payments only. T&Cs apply. begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly
Claim Bonus
🏆 Money Back as CASH up to £20 if your first bet loses 🏆
New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Betfair account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £/€20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🏇🏼 BET £10 ON ANY RACE TODAY & GET £40 IN FREE BETS! 🏇🏼
Sign-up via Mobile using promo code N40 and place a bet of £10/€10 or more and we will give you 4x £10/€10 free bets. By entering the Promo code in the box above you agree to the full terms and conditions of this promotion as displayed below. See full terms below.
Claim Bonus