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Rooney: MLS quality ‘higher than maybe I thought’

MLS Rooney in the Playoffs Soccer

FILE - In this Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, file photo, D.C. United forward Wayne Rooney, right, kicks the ball against Orlando City midfielder Dillon Powers during the second half of an MLS soccer match, in Washington. English striker Rooney and his American club are headed to the Major League Soccer playoffs. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)


DC United forward Wayne Rooney stopped short of calling Major League Soccer a terrific product, but the ex-Manchester United and Everton man says it has certainly defied his expectations.

[ MLS: First round playoff preview ]

Rooney expected something like the lower leagues of England it seems -- hard tackles, lots of long balls -- but he’s seen better soccer than expected in his first few months with the Black-and-Red.

His thoughts are laid out in a first person post on the BBC, where he also discussed Manchester United, Jose Mourinho, Everton, and getting used to food in the United States.

I knew it was a tough league, a physical league, but I think the ability of the teams in the league and ability of individual players is a lot higher than maybe I thought when I first came. ... Some of the football that gets played is good and it is a competitive league.

Rooney’s DC is the East’s No. 4 seed and has a home date with Columbus in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Follow @NicholasMendola