Wayne Rooney Departing DC United, Leaving Club Without Biggest Star
DC United announced today that F Wayne Rooney will depart after the MLS season to return overseas, and it "comes as a shock" to fans, as Rooney has been the team's "first true megastar," according to Pablo Maurer of THE ATHLETIC. A source said that Rooney's wife, Colleen, is "desperately homesick." Rooney met with a DC United exec last week to discuss the "difficulties his family was having adjusting to life" in the U.S. after "so many years" in the U.K. Now, Rooney is "headed overseas" to join EFL Championship club Derby County as a player-coach. Rooney's acquisition last June put DC United "back into the limelight." Playing in a new Audi Field and "captained by one of the game's all-time greats" in Rooney, the club made an "unprecedented run to the playoffs and, just as importantly, became a happening about town." What now "remains to be seen" is how DC United "plan on filling the void left by Rooney's personality and his enormous media footprint" (THEATHLETIC.com, 8/6). In DC, Steven Goff notes DC United "began to prepare for his possible departure as early as this fall" (WASHINGTON POST, 8/6). Former Dynamo F Calen Carr said Rooney “has been an incredible success in MLS.” He “instantly revitalized” DC United to “bring in this stadium at Audi Field," and he has "made this club relevant” (“Sky Sports News,” NBCSN, 8/6).