Wayne Rooney, D.C. United in talks about teaching job

D.C. United has spoken to former celebrity Wayne Rooney about changing into its head coach, 4 folks aware of the scenario stated late Friday and early Saturday. It remained unclear when such a transfer would occur, if in any respect.

The edges, one individual stated, have been in common contact for a while about Rooney’s curiosity in teaching the MLS membership subsequent season. However with United — the group he starred for in 2018 and 2019 after a storied Premier League profession — close to the underside of the league below interim coach Chad Ashton, talks have pivoted to him presumably coming this season.

Rooney, although, can be weighing job curiosity from a Premier League membership, that individual stated.

United officers declined to remark. Paul Stretford, Rooney’s agent, didn’t reply to a message in search of remark. Those that confirmed the talks spoke on the situation of anonymity so they may freely talk about the matter.

The Each day Mail was first to report Rooney’s curiosity in guiding United, which fired second-year coach Hernán Losada six video games into this season. Ashton, a longtime assistant, was slated to supervise the group for the remainder of the 12 months.

Nonetheless, United (5-10-2) has not improved, and Friday’s 7-0 away defeat to the Philadelphia Union tied the MLS file for largest scoring margin. For the reason that teaching change, United is 3-6-2 and has conceded 32 targets in dropping to twenty sixth amongst 28 groups within the general standings.

A extra excellent Union tears D.C. United aside with a file rout

United has not certified for the playoffs since Rooney’s second season in MLS. He had deliberate to play in Washington at the least yet one more season, however as a result of his household wasn’t snug dwelling overseas, he and the membership mutually agreed to half methods.

Rooney returned to England and joined second-flight Derby County as a participant and assistant coach. When Phillip Cocu was fired in fall 2020, Rooney and three others shared duties till Rooney was named everlasting head coach. He quickly retired as a participant, ending as the very best scorer in English nationwide group historical past.

The Rams narrowly prevented relegation, however this previous season, Rooney confronted big challenges. They had been declared bancrupt, leading to a 12-point deduction within the standings. Later, they forfeited 9 factors due to monetary violations.

Derby completed second to final and was relegated to League One, prompting Rooney, 36, to step down final month. Since then, he has been exploring teaching alternatives in Europe and spoken a number of instances to United co-chairman Jason Levien, two folks stated.

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Regardless of ending his D.C. taking part in profession sooner than anticipated, Rooney has remained shut with United officers and gamers. He and captain Steven Birnbaum — in addition to their spouses — are good buddies, and the 4 obtained collectively in December in England.

Moreover, membership administration has at instances reached out to Rooney for recommendation on participant targets in Europe, one individual stated.

One such participant, that individual stated, was Welsh ahead Tom Lawrence, who performed with and for Rooney at Derby. United expressed curiosity in signing him this summer time earlier than he joined Scottish membership Rangers.

Throughout Rooney’s taking part in days in MLS, United officers and gamers marveled at not solely his technical means however his soccer thoughts and skill to research matches. He was the group captain, and lots of thought he would turn into a coach earlier than lengthy.

Returning to Washington, although, would elevate questions on his household’s happiness, and by extension, his happiness. He and his spouse, Coleen, have 4 kids, ranging in age from 4 to 12.

Till transferring to the D.C. space, the household had by no means lived outdoors the Liverpool-Manchester space. Rooney’s spouse reportedly was depressing dwelling overseas.

Earlier than appointing anybody, United must adjust to MLS’s variety hiring coverage, which requires at the least two non-White candidates among the many finalists for technical employees positions. No different names have surfaced publicly.

The league, although, does grant waivers below “extenuating circumstances.”

United didn’t need to observe league coverage when Ashton changed Losada as a result of it was filling the job on quick discover and on an interim foundation.

Hiring Rooney would assist shift the main focus from one other dropping season. In his time as a D.C. striker, Rooney received over supporters with not solely his scoring exploits however his work ethic, management traits and interplay with the general public.

His arrival in Washington coincided with Audi Area’s opening in July 2018 and his attacking partnership with Luciano Acosta (now with Cincinnati) electrified crowds and introduced worldwide consideration to a membership that had misplaced relevance regionally and nationally.

At the same time as D.C. United struggles, Taxi Fountas has emerged as a star

In 2018, he made one of many biggest performs in membership historical past, racing again to midfield to disclaim a scoring alternative whereas United’s goalkeeper was within the attacking finish, then launching an extended ball to Acosta for a stoppage-time game-winner.

One individual aware of the negotiations stated the previous English nationwide group star believes he can win in Washington. Regardless of the group’s poor file, Greek attacker Taxi Fountas is one of many league’s prime newcomers, Chilean winger Martín Rodríguez will debut quickly, and the membership says it plans to signal at the least two others earlier than the summer time switch window closes Aug. 4. United has two designated participant slots obtainable.

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