DC United

Wayne Rooney deal to DC United reportedly confirmed

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Wayne Rooney deal to DC United reportedly confirmed

Soccer in Washington, D.C. is in for a revival.

English star Wayne Rooney agreed to a 2.5-year, $13 million deal with D.C. United on Tuesday, The Washington Post reported.

The team will also pay an additional undisclosed transfer fee to secure Rooney's rights from Everton.

It is expected that Rooney will be confirmed as a D.C. United player on Thursday with a news conference to follow on Monday, Sky Sports reported.

This has been long-awaited news, as D.C. United needed to come to terms with both Rooney and Everton. The former was completed last month, but the latter had taken some time.

Rooney, who will become the franchise's highest-paid player in team history, is not eligible to play in the MLS until its transfer window opens on July 10. However, it will be just in time for the opening of D.C. United's new stadium, Audi Field, which is set to open four days later.

The 32-year-old has been a global soccer star for the majority of the 2000s, breaking out as a striker for Machester United. His 208 Premier League goals ranks second of all-time, behind only Alan Shearer, and is England's all-time goalscorer with 53 goals in 119 matches. 

Rooney has been playing the past season for Everton, the same team he entered the Premier League with, and has 10 goals in 31 appearances. 

He joins a recent trend of high-profile European stars coming over to the MLS and will try to fix D.C. United's (2-6-4) losing woes, as the team ranks dead last in the standings with 12 points. 

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MLS suspends Wayne Rooney for another match in midst of playoff race

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MLS suspends Wayne Rooney for another match in midst of playoff race

Wayne Rooney has been suspended by MLS for an additional match following his actions that warranted a red card in last Wednesday's match against the New York Red Bulls. 

In the opening 30 minutes of the contest, the D.C. United striker elbowed Red Bull Cristian Cásseres Jr. in the penalty area during a corner kick. Rooney was removed from the match via a red card and forced him to leave the contest. United had to play down a man where they eventually lost 2-1.

With Rooney's hit and removal being the result of a blow to the head, it is mandated that serve a one-game suspension when the club played the Philadelphia Union on Saturday. MLS's disciplinary committee felt that Rooney's behavior deserved for him to miss another game.

"Anyone who knows the game of football can see what the intent was. It was to try to ease the player out... Obviously disappointed to get a red card, but also disappointed because I don't agree with the decision," Rooney told reporters after his red card on Wednesday. "I need to be careful with what I say after what I said last week."

Rooney referring to an altercation he had just a week prior where he cursed at the fourth official after coming off the field during a match. Afterward, he also criticized MLS on Twitter for travel issues. 

His suspension will have him missing United's contest against the Montreal Impact. 

His absence against Montreal is a huge blow as United is making a push to the MLS Playoffs. Currently, D.C. (39 points) is fifth in the Eastern Conference table and Montreal (34 points) is eighth with only the top seven making it to the postseason. 

After Montreal, there are only four games left on United's docket on the 2019 MLS regular season. Those also being the last four MLS matches that Rooney will dawn the Black and Red as he is leaving to serve as a player-coach for Derby County.

Needless to say, England's all-time leader in goals is heading out with a bang. 

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D.C. United supporters unwavering as Rooney prepares to leave, Acosta’s future uncertain

D.C. United supporters unwavering as Rooney prepares to leave, Acosta’s future uncertain

WASHINGTON - When the 2020 MLS season kicks off the roster of D.C. United could look drastically different than what fans have experienced over the past two seasons. 

First, there’s the obvious: Wayne Rooney is leaving the club at the end of the season. The English striker is headed back home as a player/coach at Derby County, a second division team. 

Then there’s the not so obvious, rather curious case, with the uncertain future of fellow forward Luciano Acosta. At the end of the season, the United star’s contract is expiring. Signs aren’t pointing to him coming back to the club. For months the team has been open to transferring the Argentine, almost successfully pulling it off, and then also benching him for three straight matches. 

Whether United retains Acosta or not, the top attacking line will have a distinctive change with the notable absence of Rooney. 

Fans, though, are neither too surprised nor upset about potentially losing the two best goal scorers on the club - one of them among the most prolific scorers in the game’s history. 

If anything, fans are bummed, but realistic about the imminent departures and, in Rooney's case, happy to have watched him over the past two seasons.

“The best things in life don’t last forever. So it was just only a matter of time,” United supporter Tim Christofield said on Rooney’s decision to return to England. 

“[Rooney]’s a family man,” United supporter Marcelo Zunavua. “[Wayne] came here and lifted up D.C. in a brand new stadium, and I thank [him] for that and I appreciate it. I don’t think anyone expected for [him] to be here 10 years. That’s just delusional. A year? Two years? Awesome.”

Rooney’s announcement to leave D.C. came in the midst of his first full season in the MLS. Despite the new opportunity, Rooney will fulfill the remainder of this season with United. His tenure in the United States professional circuit will only be a year and a half of the original three-and-a-half-year contract. 

But fans will not forget the electricity he brought to the team in his first year with the club. He helped open up the new Audi Field and carried the team to a playoff spot after sitting in the basement of the MLS Standings. In his 20 games with the club he scored 12 goals, which led the team for the whole season, and recorded seven assists.

“Last year was really exciting. As soon as he showed up it injected major, new energy into – not just the new stadium, but the fanbase and the international [fanbase],” Southwest D.C. resident Connolly Keigher said. 

Rooney's first month in MLS, at age 32, was like a chapter out of a novel: Too good to be true. Nearly each week United leapfrogged an opponent in the standings. They couldn't lose, especially in their fresh home confines, and before they knew it they were hosting a playoff game. 

The fan attachment was immediate. Rooney D.C. United jerseys littered Audi Field and he had the fourth-highest jersey sales of all of MLS for a half year. But fans are still okay watching him go.

“It makes sense that he wants to go back home and kind of build a bigger longer path out there as a coach,” Keigher said. 

For four-year player Acosta, he is on the opposite side of his career. Fans are not only excited for the 25-year-old’s future, but some are also encouraged to see him go elsewhere and be successful. 

“Acosta is a great player. He deserves to be somewhere else. [MLS] is not there yet,” Zunavua said. “I think MLS and D.C. United was like a first chapter, not what’s going on for the second chapter. No hate, no nothing.”

At the same time, if the fans do not have to say goodbye to Acosta, most don’t want to. During his tenure with United, he was a fixture of the club. Aside from Bill Hamid, he was arguably one of the faces of the team. When Rooney came in the middle of 2018 it greatly affected his game. Acosta saw the highest offensive output of his career with 10 goals and 17 assists.

Just where things have fallen lately, and Acosta starting matches on the sidelines, supporters do not see a scenario where he returns at the end of the year.  

“With Rooney, it’s one thing. I think that was definitely a very temporary thing. With Acosta, I think it would behoove [D.C. United] to kind of accentuated him a little bit more and give him a little more playing time,” Christofield said. “It’s disappointing that he’s been such a staple for so long and now he’s just sitting watching everybody else play… I’d love for him to stay, you know he’s awesome. I don’t think it’s gonna happen.”

Soon United fans are going to have to say farewell to Rooney for good - and potentially Acosta at the same time. Unlike most final acts, where the players had all the power to return to the team, it will end with at least end with happy memories from those in the supporter’s section. 

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