Wayne Rooney has agreed terms to be the next manager of D.C. United, and will join up with the club once the final details are worked out and he acquires the necessary work visa, a source has confirmed to ESPN.
The Athletic was the first to report the news.
Rooney replaces Hernan Losada, who was fired in April. The Black-and-Red has since been under the stewardship of interim manager Chad Ashton, but the results haven’t improved, including last Friday’s 7-0 shellacking at the hands of the Philadelphia Union. DCU is currently tied with Chicago for the fewest points in Major League Soccer, with just 17 from as many matches.
Rooney will manage the side with which he spent 15 months as a player back in 2018-19. That spell was largely viewed as successful, though there was a sense that he could have made an even bigger impact had he stuck around for the entirety of what was originally a 3½-year contract.
Instead, Rooney returned to England to not only join Championship side Derby County as a player-coach, but also because his family had found it difficult to settle in the U.S. He eventually became Derby’s manager after Phillip Cocu was fired following a woeful start to the 2020-21 season. Under Rooney’s guidance, Derby managed to avoid relegation on the final day of the campaign.
Matters became drastically more difficult during the 2021-22 season. Last September, the English Football League docked Derby 12 points for entering administration. The Rams were later deducted an additional nine points for breaching EFL accounting rules. While Rooney was lauded for keeping Derby competitive, the penalties proved too great, and the Rams were relegated.
Rooney then resigned his position following the conclusion of the season. He was rumored to have drawn interest from Premier League clubs, but he ultimately decided that a return to D.C. United suited his managerial ambitions best at this point in time.
As a player, Rooney was regarded as one of the best of his generation. He is the top goal scorer for Manchester United with 253 goals in all competitions. He holds the same mark for the England national team, as well as the most appearances for an outfield player, scoring 53 goals in 120 appearances.
After joining Manchester United, Rooney went on to win five Premier League titles, one FA Cup, three League Cups, one UEFA Europa League and one UEFA Champions League crown. He was also part of the England sides that took part in the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups.
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