(Washington) Former Manchester United star player Wayne Rooney returns to Major League Soccer (MLS), the North American championship, to coach DC United, whose jersey he wore in 2018 and 2019, the Washington club announced on Tuesday. , in great sporting difficulty.
« Wayne is a footballing legend and one of the most exciting and dynamic managers in our sport, » DC United co-chairman Jason Levien said in a club statement. “He has already proven in his young coaching career that he knows how to lead a group in adversity. »
DC United currently sit second to last in the Eastern Conference, with 17 points scored in 17 games. Argentina coach Hernán Losada was dismissed after the 6e day of the season for bad results. The interim was entrusted to Chad Ashton, but the results do not follow: the Washington team lost 7-0 Friday against Philadelphia Union. His next game is scheduled for Wednesday at home against Columbus.
Rooney, 36, who has been in Washington since Sunday, will officially take up his post as soon as he gets his work visa.
“Coming back to MLS, coming back to DC United, it was an exciting challenge for me and a way, I think, to develop my coaching skills,” the ex-striker told a press conference. “I am an ambitious person. I want to train at the top level one day. It’s part of that process. »
“I am convinced that with my ability to develop young players, we will be able to put this club back on the path to success. It’s going to take a lot of work but that’s what I’m here to do, and to improve the team. »
The former England international left his post as Derby County coach at the end of June (2e English Division), his first experience as a head coach. He could not prevent relegation in 3e division, heavily penalized by a massive withdrawal of 21 points sanctioning accounting breaches.
“The guys are impatient”
“Wayne is a winner and a competitor. His work ethic and what he demands of himself and his players is second to none,” said DC United Director of Football Dave Kasper.
The former captain of the English selection, whose family remained in England, arrives on familiar ground, since he played two seasons in the jersey of DC United, in 2018 and 2019, scoring 23 goals in 48 games.
Current DC United captain Steve Birnbaum played with him during this time. “The group, he said, is excited to have him. We know the energy and passion he brought as a player and we know he will do the same as a coach. The guys are eager to learn. He has a probably unrivaled “football IQ”. »
In 13 career years spent at Manchester United, Wayne Rooney scored 183 goals and won the English league title five times, as well as a Champions League in 2008, the third in the history of the « Red Devils ».