Rooney plays first match for D.C. United 14 July

Former England and Manchester United star Wayne Rooney, who completed a $13million move to D.C. United on Monday is billed to play his first match for the club on 14 July.

The match against Vancouver will take place at the club’s new 20,000-seat stadium, $200 million Audi Field.

Rooney, who last played for childhood club, Everton said his move to D.C. United and Major League Soccer was the change he “needed” at the “right time for me.”

“I think it’s what I needed,” Rooney said. “It was the right time for me.”

Rooney plays first match for D.C. United 14 July 1


“The game has grown so much over here, new stadiums, big crowds,” Rooney said. “I’m excited by the project.”

United chief executive Jason Levien dubbed Rooney “a living legend who is going to bring so much excitement to our fan base” and added, “To have Wayne lead us on the field into our new era is going to be glorious.”

Rooney cannot sign a contract with United until the transfer window opens on July 10.

The Merseysider vowed he had not moved to MLS for a final lucrative payday.

“I’m not here to see out my last few years,” Rooney said. “I’m here to compete and I’m here to win.”

That could be tough at the start. United is at the bottom of MLS with two wins and 10 points from 13 matches.

“It’s an exciting challenge,” Rooney said. “I’ve watched the league from afar the past few years. We need to improve. That’s clear to see. We need to get better results.

“This team has some young talent and they can improve with some guidance. They can learn some things from me and I can learn some things from them.

“New country, new culture, everything is new to me. I will embrace it. I look forward to the challenge. I’m delighted to be here.”

United, which has won four MLS titles but none since 2004, will add more talent alongside Rooney in its bid to recapture the glory days.

“I’m sure there are more players going to come,” Rooney said. “The club is moving in the right direction. The league has gotten better and the club has to get better and they have realized that.

“For the club to move forward, we will need to bring in a few more players. I’m sure the club is looking at that.”

United general manager Dave Kasper said preparing Rooney to be ready in two weeks is the first challenge.

“He’s in his pre-season and he has to get fit in 100-degree heat to boot,” Kasper said.


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