Did you think Wayne Rooney was done when he left Everton for DC United in the summer?
If you did, you wouldn’t have been the only one. Plenty of decorated pros have headed to the States for a comfortable swansong. But he’s proving the doubters wrong at DC and helping to fire them to an unlikely play-off spot.
The Black-and-Red were bottom of the Eastern Conference with three wins from 16 league games when the former England captain arrived. Since his debut in July, they’ve won nine of 17 outings.
Rooney’s brace in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Chicago Fire also extended their unbeaten run to seven games. They’re now just two points outside the play-off spots, with two games in hand.
The 32-year-old has struck nine times in 16 appearances, but he’s brought more than goals to the team.
His experience seems to be really helping his younger teammates. His presence has eased the pressure on Luciano Acosta and Yamil Asad to score. Both look much more comfortable and confident as a result.
The veteran has also impressed with his willingness to get stuck in.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) August 13, 2018
His dramatic injury-time tackle and cross to set up a late winner against Orlando City was typical of the attitude he’s approached his American adventure with. Despite his superstar status, he’s prepared to work just as hard as anyone else.
Rooney’s arrival has transformed DC’s fortunes on the pitch. If he can keep it up, they could be surprise contenders for the MLS Cup.