Last summer one of the iconic players of the Premier League era Wayne Rooney left the English top-flight for a new adventure in MLS. The veteran forward had spent just a year at boyhood club Everton after a trophy-laden career at Manchester United.
In truth, Rooney did enjoy mixed fortunes in his second spell on Merseyside. It did seem clear though that his best days were behind and that he needed to move somewhere with less pressure.
Move to MLS ideal
A move to the USA for Rooney had been mooted before his return to Everton. However, the lure of his first club was just too much for the forward. When it became clear that he was no longer in the Toffees long-term plans, a switch to the US made sense and he joined struggling DC United.
The quality in the MLS is inferior to its European counterpart, largely due to the indifference of the American people to the beautiful game. The game is growing in the US, but still behind the traditional American sports.
However, the fact that football or soccer is not the biggest sport in the US means that Rooney can live his life without being followed and harassed by people. The big pay packet is also no doubt a bonus.
While he can enjoy life outside football, he seems to be enjoying his life on the pitch once more. Rooney loves the game, there is no doubt about it and he is now playing without the huge pressure of being a Premier League player.
The 32-year-old has been involved in 15 of DC United’s 32 MLS goals since he made his debut for the club from the capital, scoring nine times and producing six assists.
Arrival has lifted DC United
A move to DC United seemed a strange one for Rooney, as United were rock bottom of the Eastern Conference. However, the former England captain’s arrival has led to a massive revival of the team’s fortunes.
When Rooney arrived in DC, his team were a massive 13 points behind Philadelphia Union, who occupied the last play-off spot. Since Rooney’s arrival, DC United have picked up 30 points, which is only bettered by New York Red Bulls 33 in that time period.
DC are now just two points off the play-off spots with four regular season games to go and fancied by the bookmakers to make the top-six in the Eastern Conference.
The move has worked out well for all parties
Rooney moving to DC United seems to have worked out for all parties. Rooney is enjoying his life on and reportedly off the pitch, DC United are thriving and Everton are no longer fitting square pegs in round holes by trying to accommodate all the number tens on their books.
Wayne Rooney is, without doubt, one of the best footballers the Premier League has ever seen. However, the forward is now enjoying the game and the rewards that come with it, which is great to see for a guy who spent so much time in the glare of the British media.
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