Rumors are circulating that Wayne Rooney is ready to start his ‘golden years’ in the MLS. As of Tuesday, both the Washington Post as well as Daily Mail reported that the 32 year-old is DC United’s hopeful top-notch signing for the summer transfer window.
Is it surprising? Not really, there’s two likely factors at play here that are really influencing the outcome of this decision. The first being the bottom line: Rooney hasn’t scored since December, and he’s still somehow Everton’s leading scorer.
When Rooney came back to Everton after 13 years at Manchester United his goal was to see his first club progress. He wanted to play the role of veteran, see the squad continue to push up the table, and enjoy himself along the way.
The deck hasn’t stacked in Rooney’s favor though, the club is likely going to finish in nearly the exact same spot on the table, and instead of playing his regular position up-top at striker he’s been putting in his time having to orchestrate the midfield.
All of this puts Rooney in a position where even though he’s not the Wayne Rooney he was 10 years ago, he still has to be the de facto leader of the team, which is asking a lot from a superstar that took a pay cut to play for your club.
DC United on the other hand have an open ‘designated player’ spot for Rooney, meaning he can be paid far greater than his potential DC United teammates. Not only that, DC United’s front office is itching because they feel the moment is right. The success of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in his first few months with the LA Galaxy has every MLS team lining up to court aging superstars. DC United plans to unveil a brand new stadium, Audi Field, in July, and they want some star-power to reignite their fan base.
While it may be a solution for Wayne Rooney’s woes, the truth is, it likely won’t be for DC United. The club has struggled in MLS competition without a significant victory within the last four years, and they have one of the smallest fan bases in the league.
Part of the Zlatan-craze in LA is due to the star’s own willingness to play the role of a larger than life character, in that same lane, DC United should be looking to find an aging veteran with a heap of charisma.
Does anyone have Mario Balotelli’s number?