36-Year-Old Former D.C. United, English Premier League, and International Superstar Returns to the Club as Head Coach Following Two Years Managing in England
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 12, 2022) – D.C. United announced today that Wayne Rooney has been named as the club’s new Head Coach. Rooney, who previously played and captained the Major League Soccer (MLS) club for two years from 2018 to 2019, will return to D.C. United following a two-year stay as the Manager of Derby County while they competed in the English Championship. Interim Head Coach Chad Ashton will remain in charge of the team until Wayne Rooney has received his Work Visa.
Rooney joined D.C. United in June 2018 as a Designated Player. During his time with the Black-and-Red, Rooney appeared in 48 matches, scored 23 goals and assisted 15 others. He was voted MLS Best XI in 2018, an All-Star in 2019, and was an MLS MVP finalist in 2018.
“Wayne is a soccer legend and one of the most exciting and dynamic up-and-coming managers in our sport. He’s already proven in his young coaching career that he knows how to lead a group through adversity,” said Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan Co-Chairmen of D.C. United. “He has an understanding of our league and what it takes to be successful in Major League Soccer thanks to his two-year stay with us as a player. The passion he showed while wearing Black-and-Red electrified our city and our club and we are so excited to welcome him back as our Head Coach.”
The 36-year-old was appointed as the full-time Manager of Derby County in January 2021 following a successful stint as Interim Player-Manager where he navigated the club from the bottom of the English Championship table to safety, avoiding relegation by three points. Prior to his first full season in charge of Derby County, the club were given a 21-point deduction by the Football Association for admitting to breaches of Profitability and Sustainability. Despite this disadvantage, Rooney guided the club to a record of 14-13-19, totaling 55 points, which would have been enough to secure safety in the Championship for another season if not for the point reduction. Rooney resigned as Manager of Derby County on June 24, 2022.
As a professional, Rooney’s playing career began in the English Premier League on August 17, 2002 when he made his senior debut for Everton FC and assisted a goal helping the Toffees to a 2-2 draw against Tottenham Hotspur. At 18 years old after two seasons with Everton, Rooney joined Manchester United in a record transfer deal ($35 million) where he played 13 seasons and scored 208 Premier League goals in 491 appearances, which is good for second best all-time, only behind Alan Shearer (260). During his time in Manchester, Rooney captured 16 major trophies, including five Premier League titles, the UEFA Champions League in 2008, and the FA Cup in 2006. On the international stage, Rooney holds the record for the most-capped field player in England history (120) and is also the all-time leader in goals for The Three Lions (53). He appeared in three World Cups (2006, 2010, and 2014), as well as three UEFA European Championships (2004, 2012, and 2016), and captained his country 24 times across all competitions.
“Wayne is a winner and a competitor. His work ethic and what he demands of himself and his players is second to none,” said Dave Kasper, President of Soccer Operations for D.C. United. “Wayne’s approach to the game and the style of soccer he wants to play fits within our philosophy and we believe he is the right person to lead our club moving forward.”
Rooney will join the club and assume the role of head coach pending the receipt of his Work Visa. His coaching staff will be announced at a later date.
About D.C. United
One of the founding clubs of Major League Soccer in 1996, D.C. United are among the most decorated teams in the United States with 13 domestic and international trophies.
D.C. United have called the District home for the past 26 seasons and play their home games at Audi Field in the Buzzard Point neighborhood of Southwest, Washington, D.C, which opened in 2018. In addition to D.C. United games, the 20,000-seat soccer-specific stadium hosts over 100 events year-round, including the District’s premier arts, culinary, and music festival, Unite the District Fest. Audi Field will soon be home to America’s number one sportsbook through a partnership with FanDuel Group.
The Black-and-Red have won the MLS Cup four times (1996, 1997, 1999 and 2004), the Supporters’ Shield four times (1997, 1999, 2006 and 2007) and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup three times (1996, 2008 and 2013).
TAXI FOUNTAS AMONG THE 26 PLAYERS SELECTED TO 2022 MLS ALL-STAR GAME PRESENTED BY TARGET
Leading goal scorer, Taxi Fountas, was among the 26 players honored today as Major League Soccer unveiled the complete roster for the 2022 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target.
Taxi Fountas Among the 26 Players Selected to 2022 MLS All-Star Game Presented by Target
NEW YORK (Tuesday, July 12, 2022) – Leading goal scorer, Taxi Fountas, was among the 26 players honored today as Major League Soccer unveiled the complete roster for the 2022 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target.
For the second consecutive season, the MLS All-Stars will take on the best of LIGA MX on August 10 at 8:30 p.m. ET at Allianz Filed in Minnesota and will be broadcast live on ESPN and Univision in the U.S., TSN and TVA Sports in Canada, on ESPN throughout Mexico and Latin America, and in more than 190 countries around the world.
Taxi arrived in D.C. in April and was an instant impact for the club. He made his Black-and-Red debut on April 16, coming on as a substitute in the 58th minute against Austin FC. The Greek forward then made his first start on April 23 against the New England Revolution where he scored two and assisted one in a 3-2 win at Audi Field. He leads D.C. United with nine goals in 11 matches played and scored his first career hat trick against Orlando City SC on July 4 in a 5-3 win. The Greek forward had 12 combined goals and assists in his first 10 MLS games, which was tied for most in MLS history.
The roster was selected through a combination of fan, player, and media voting (12 players), designations by All-Star head coach Adrian Heath of host club Minnesota United FC (12 players), and a pair of selections by MLS Commissioner Don Garber.
Sixteen clubs are represented on this year’s All-Star Game roster: Austin FC, FC Cincinnati, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Inter Miami CF, LA Galaxy, LAFC, Minnesota United FC, CF Montréal, Nashville SC, New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls, NYCFC, Philadelphia Union, and Seattle Sounders FC. The players have ties to 10 different countries: Argentina (four players), Canada (two), Ecuador (one), Germany (two), Greece (one), Jamaica (one), Mexico (three), Peru (two), Spain (two), and the United States (eight). Additionally, 14 of the 26 players will be making their MLS All-Star Game presented by Target debut.