Wayne Rooney looks set to formally announced as DC United’s new head coach.
It hit the news on Monday that Rooney was going to return to management quickly after walking away from the Derby County job, a role the former Manchester United striker used to prove himself as a good manager.
Rooney has now decided to take his managerial trial across the United States in an exciting return to the MLS for his young family. He has already got a ringing endorsement from his fellow countryman and former United academy graduate Phil Neville.
The former England international will take over from interim manager Chad Ashton, who has been in the hot seat since mid-April following Hernan Losada’s dismissal.
DC United are currently 13th in the Eastern Conference standings and don’t want to go a third year missing out on the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. Rooney played for the club when they last achieved that feat in 2018/19.
Neville, who oversees Inter Miami, addressed the widespread reports at Monday’s training session.
“He comes as one of the most iconic figures in English football, the most successful scorer in England and Manchester United’s history. So that brings a level of expectation,” said Neville, as quoted by the official MLS website.
“Everything that Wayne does brings a level of expectation but ever since I was introduced to him and we became teammates, the boy has got that touch where he succeeds.
“The boy’s got that hunger and desire to do everything it takes to be successful and I think in his managerial career so far, he was thrown in the deep end at Derby where they had no money and they had takeover problems and they had a points deduction.
“He nearly performed a miracle, so in a way this job might be slightly easier because of the conditions. There is no relegation in this league like there is in England.”
Neville believes that Rooney will have the advantage of already experiencing MLS as a player.
“When I came to MLS, I suppose that Wayne’s slightly got an advantage because he’s played in MLS, he’s got experience in MLS,” he added.
“He’s been on the road trips, he’s obviously played with some of these players he’ll be playing against. He’s been to stadiums, he’s been in the environments and the climates. So he’s not coming here as someone that’s never been involved in the league. He knows what the league’s all about, so I think that gives him a great advantage.”
We should see an official announcement from DC United soon.