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Incredible moment ignites Rooney’s MLS career

Wayne Rooney

D.C. United forward Wayne Rooney (9) celebrates with teammates after an MLS soccer match against the Vancouver Whitecaps at Audi Field, Saturday, July 14, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


That moment. Yes, that moment, will be remembered forever by fans of D.C. United and most of the supporters across Major League Soccer.

Wayne Rooney just had his Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring a worldie against LAFC moment. His David Beckham scoring from half-field against Kansas City moment. His Thierry Henry scoring an Olimpico moment.

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Every ageing superstar who arrives in MLS needs one of those moments to get the energy levels around them flowing. To help their legends grow in MLS circles and to prove they’re here to add to the party, not just hang around, pick up some cash and head on out.

Rooney’s hustle and quality on the game-winning moment for D.C. United in the 96th minute against Orlando City on Sunday personified his personality and his playing ability and summed up exactly why DCU paid big bucks to bring him in.

Just look at this. This moment had it all. From despair to joy. Agony to ecstasy.

With the goalkeeper up for a corner and the ball breaking away to Orlando with an empty net gaping, quite why Rooney was last man is baffling. But DCU’s new captain chased back in the 96th minute, slid in to make a perfect tackle and then drove forward, delivering a perfect 50-yard pass onto the head of Luciano Acosta to head home the winner deep into stoppage time.

Cue pandemonium among the home fans at Audi Field who, let’s face it, haven’t had much to cheer about for quite some time now.

That moment from Rooney will keep them smiling for at least the next week and his influence on the team, and the league, was evident as news spread about his hustle.