By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Soccer star Wayne Rooney is departing D.C. United in January. He is going back to England to serve as a player-coach with Derby County.
Rooney came to Major League Soccer in July 2018. Now, once he leaves, he’ll be working with manager Philip Cocu.
“I remain fully focused on giving my all for the team for the rest of this season and repaying the support shown by the Black-and-Red faithful by hopefully delivering an MLS Cup to Audi Field,” Rooney, said. “My time in Major League Soccer is something I will always be proud of. The supporters in the Screaming Eagles, Barra Brava and District Ultras have made my time in America so enjoyable. While the decision to move home was a tough one, family is everything to us and we make this change to be closer to the ones we love back in England.
“The opportunity to go back home and start the next step of my career in coaching was the factor that made my mind up. I would like to thank everyone at D.C. United for the incredible support my family and I have received over my two seasons at the club.”
The terms of his new contract with Derby County FC was not disclosed. D.C. United also said in a press release that Rooney will be an ambassador for the team moving forward.
“After speaking to Wayne and understanding his difficult situation of being so far away from his family, we have accepted that this is the best decision for all parties,” Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien, D.C. United Co-Chairmen, said. “Our main focus now is the 2019 MLS Season and ensuring we make a push towards the playoffs with the ultimate goal of bringing an MLS Cup back to the District.
“Wayne is an exceptional leader and one of the most iconic players to play the game so we look forward to his continued contributions to the team this season.”
The 33-year-old has appeared in just 43 games with D.C. United in a little over a year. He made 20 appearances, including 18 starts, after coming to the United States in 2018.
He had 12 goals and seven assists in 1,641 minutes.
This season, Rooney has made 23 appearances, including 22 starts. He has 11 goals and seven assists in 1,975 minutes.
He last scored for The United on July 18th against FC Cincinnati in a 4-1 win. He had a goal and an assist in 83 minutes.
The past two games, he has appeared in 179 minutes, yet he has not scores a goal against the Chicago Fire on July 27th or the Philadelphia Union on August 4th. He took just three shots — including one shot on goal — in those two games.