Wayne Rooney was named the MLS Player of the Week after his hat trick sparked D.C. United’s 5-0 rout of Real Salt Lake. This year, the Player of the Week vote combines weighted input from the North American Soccer Reporters as well as fan polling via the league’s Twitter account. Turns out that when you score a hat trick, you get noticed.
After not necessarily being a dominant factor in United’s first two games of the season, Rooney walked off at full time with 3 goals and an assist as the Black-and-Red taught RSL a lesson. Rooney struck from the spot in the 34th minute after Paul Arriola won a penalty kick, then made it 2-0 with a clever finish after Leonardo Jara’s lovely pass. Rooney then completed his first hat trick in MLS in the 65th minute, sliding to tap Junior Moreno’s unselfish pass in from inside the six-yard box. As if that weren’t enough, he then got an assist on Lucas Rodriguez’s spectacular 76th minute goal, floating a corner kick to the top of the box for the Argentine newcomer to lash home on the volley.
On top of his Player of the Week nod, Rooney — along with Moreno and Jara — made MLS’s Team of the Week:
The best of the best from Week 3 // @Audi pic.twitter.com/Jr9uyPmfGV— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 18, 2019