DC United

How Wayne Rooney has gotten so good at striking from mid-field

How Wayne Rooney has gotten so good at striking from mid-field

Famed striker and DC United star Wayne Rooney joined Roger Bennett and Michael Davies for a live edition of their podcast Men in Blazers at the British Embassy on Monday.

Rooney started the conversation by discussing how his departure at the end of the season for Derby County will impact the end of his tenure with DC. For now, he's still focused on making the most of his time.

"I think our main priority right now is to secure a playoff spot and then if we do that we can try and push and try and win the title," Rooney said.

Currently, United are fourth in the table in the Eastern Conference and are clinging to a playoff berth.

Rooney then explained how he was able to knock in a shot from halfway down the field against Orlando City, saying that he had been thinking about making a shot like that since the game started.

"I'd seen the goalkeeper three, four minutes before and thinking 'why is he standing there?' He was so far out," Rooney said. 

"I think you're always taught as a child to know where the goal is no matter where you're at," Rooney clarified. "I've always been looking for keepers whenever they're in games where they're 20 yards out, 10 yards out or 50 yards out. I always try and have an awareness of where the keeper is in case the ball falls for me and can get a shot off."

The shot also requires immense amounts of confidence according to Rooney. "You have to be willing to know that you're not gonna score many times when you try it, but the odd times you might score," Rooney noted. "[Don't] be scared to make mistakes and be ready."

Rooney's strike with United was his third such time attempting a mid-field shot. He completed the feat twice while playing in the Premier League, once when he played for Everton to complete a hat trick, and again when he played for Manchester United.

Rooney remarked that the strike for Everton was one of the cleanest balls he'd ever hit.

"This one was perfect. The flight of the ball, the depth of the ball, everything was perfect," he reminisced.

You can watch Rooney's appearance on the Men In Blazers podcast on September 15 on NBC Sports Network as part of their Premier League coverage.

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D.C. United acquires Bill Hamid's contract on permanent transfer

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D.C. United acquires Bill Hamid's contract on permanent transfer

Bill Hamid is returning the District for good. 

D.C. United has acquired their goalkeeper permanently after a transfer from FC Midtjylland, the team announced on Monday. The deal is good for three years using Targeted Allocation Monday.

During the 2018 and 2019 seasons, Hamid was on loan from the Danish club. Both years he continued to post superb numbers for United. In 47 starts he had 19 shutouts and a 21-12-14 record. His 14 clean sheets in 2019 led the league and had him in consideration for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.

He had started for the club in some capacity in every season dating back to 2010.  The 29-year-old has club records in starts for goalkeepers (231), minutes (20,589), wins (87), saves (819) and shutouts (68).

"Bringing Bill back to the club in 2020 and beyond was a top priority for us this offseason," general manager Dave Kasper said in a release. “Bill is a leader on and off the field and we’re excited to bring him back to the club that he has worked tirelessly for over the last ten seasons. He is among the best goalkeepers in MLS and he resonates with fans and the community, and we know he is going to be an important piece at the club for the foreseeable future."

For years Hamid has been regarded as one of the top American goalkeepers, but injuries have hindered his growth. He was a part of the wave of USMNT players moving to European clubs when he signed with the Danish team back in 2018. Earlier in Jan. 2019 that appeared to pay off after his stellar season on loan with United. It resulted in Hamid on the USMNT's training camp roster.

The difference now in Hamid's permanent transfer is that he can no longer be called up by his primary team FC Midtjylland. While that never happened in his year and a half on loan with United, that possibility was always there. It's a permanent solution for United and resources can now be focused on other areas of the team. 

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Wayne Rooney's MLS career ends as United falls in the playoffs

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Wayne Rooney's MLS career ends as United falls in the playoffs

TORONTO -- Jonathan Osorio scored twice, Richie Laryea and Nick DeLeon added two more in a four-goal extra-time outburst and Toronto FC beat D.C. United 5-1 on Saturday night in the first round of the playoffs to end Wayne Rooney's MLS career.

The 33-year-old Rooney is returning to England to join Derby County.

Toronto advanced to play at New York City FC on Wednesday night.

Lucas Rodriguez tied it for D.C. United in the 93rd minute. Toronto then scored in the 93rd, 95th, 103rd and 105th minutes.

Laryea beat Bill Hamid from close range three minutes into extra time after Michael Bradley stole the ball and fed DeLeon. Two minutes later, Drew Moor headed Alejandro Pozuelo's corner into the goal front and Osorio banged it in. Osorio hammered a volley from just inside the penalty box, and DeLeon, a former D.C. United player, made it 5-1 with a swerving shot from distance.

Marky Delgado opened the scoring for Toronto in the 32nd.

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