This week, Wayne Rooney scored a stunner of a free-kick against Toronto. Subsequently, the wondergoal blew up on social media causing Rooney to be brought to the forefront of the English media once again. But how is he really getting on in the USA?
After a failed transfer back to boyhood club Everton, Wayne Rooney made the move that we see many ageing footballers make. This move being one to North America to play in the MLS. In Rooney’s case, it was to play for D.C United.
Earlier this week, Wayne Rooney made his 16th goal contribution, in just his 18th game in the MLS, with a stunning free-kick.
The free-kick (seen below) was Rooney’s 10th goal for D.C United.
— Wayne Rooney (@WayneRooney) October 18, 2018
As of now, D.C United are sitting 6th out of 11th in the Eastern Conference of the MLS. This will see them make the MLS Cup playoffs. This postseason playoff competition includes twelve teams that compete between November and December. Considering D.C finished bottom of the Eastern Conference last season, a sixth-place finish is highly commendable. Although, we’ll have to wait and see in two games time, when the season ends.
Obviously, when a player of Rooney’s reputation and calibre moves to, with all due respect, a smaller club like D.C then he will immediately gain the respect of players and fans. This can be seen by Rooney being named as club captain after just three games.
A move to the MLS is one that we have seen other legends and ex-Premier League players such as Schweinsteiger, Ibrahimovic and Tim Howard. Each of them, with Rooney included, failed in their final seasons in the Premier League. Some even had their ability slandered by their managers.
Upon Rooney equalling Sir Bobby Charlton’s goal-scoring record at Manchester United, Mourinho said
This isn’t the first time Rooney has blown up whilst in America. Back in August, whilst playing against Orlando, he pulled off what some might call a miracle, in the 96th minute, no less. The D.C goalkeeper was up for a corner. The corner was unsuccessful and allowed Orlando to break towards an open goal.
Rooney tracked all the way to the halfway line to pull off a crucial sliding tackle. From then, he put in a beautifully weighted, cross-field ball into the penalty area where Acosta was there to head home a last minute winner and complete his hat-trick.
Still Room for Improvement
You would think that, after blowing up twice in just 18 games, Rooney is bossing it in the MLS. However, this isn’t exactly true. He is only the joint-25th top scorer, albeit him only playing just over half the games this season. Although, ex-Hull Striker Adama Diomande, who has played fewer games than Rooney, is the 11th top scorer.
Ultimately, Wayne Rooney is performing so much better than most people expected him to. This is culminated by D.C United’s turn around from last season, combined with his goal contribution stats. Surely he has been a major factor in their turnaround, right?