Unless you’ve been under a rock with no internet connection, you’ve surely heard that Wayne Rooney has returned to the District. He was spotted early Sunday afternoon on a Dulles-bound flight and was greeted by D.C. United staff upon his arrival.
After days of D.C. United demurring, there was certainly more than a little smoke to support the UK tabloid articles that first revealed the news linking Rooney to the head coach position.
D.C. United made the official announcement of Rooney’s hiring today during a special event at Audi Field. Jason Levien, D.C. United CEO and co-chairman, warmly welcomed Wayne Rooney back to D.C. saying, “Four years ago, there were whispers and murmurs and some criticism that maybe Wayne was a little bit too old to help us. What’s interesting is four years later, there’s some whispers and murmurs that maybe he’s a little bit too young to help us. So I think he’s perfectly situated in both cases.”
Danita Johnson, president of business operations, called Rooney’s appointment “monumental.” Johnson said, “We look forward to your leadership as our new head coach here at D.C. United. The representation and what you mean to our supporters and this community goes unmatched and we are so proud to have you back at home.”
Team captain Steven Birnbaum played alongside Rooney during his tenure as a player and shared what Rooney’s hiring meant to him and the team, saying, “The group’s excited to have him here. We know the energy and passion that he brought as a player and we know he’s gonna do the same thing as a coach. And the guys are excited to learn from him. He has a soccer IQ that’s probably second to none that I’ve been around and the group’s extremely excited to see him uplift us.”
Wayne Rooney took the time to speak with the media and share that he is not afraid of the hard work ahead, calling D.C., “an exciting challenge.” He said, “I really believe in my capabilities of developing players, young players. Of course, we’re working hard to get a few new players in. We can really get this club back to successful ways again. It’s gonna take a lot of hard work but that’s what I’m here to do and really improve the team”
“I’m ready to get to work and I’m trying to get this club back to being successful,” he said.
We’re excited to see what comes next for the Black-and-Red under his leadership.