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Wayne Rooney Reportedly Agrees to Contract as D.C. United Manager

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 11, 2022

James Gill/Getty Images

D.C. United is hiring Wayne Rooney as its next manager, according to Pablo Maurer of The Athletic.

Maurer reported the former Derby County manager arrived Sunday at Dulles International Airport in order to meet with club officials and finalize the deal.

The 36-year-old spent two seasons at D.C. United as a player, scoring 23 goals in 48 matches across 2018 and 2019.

Rooney's tenure came to an end in part because his wife, Coleen, was eager for a return to England. He signed with Derby County, starting out only as a player but then assuming managerial duties in November 2020.

In what proved to be his only full season at the helm, Derby finished 23rd in the English Championship and was relegated to League One.

Granted, the Rams faced a 12-point deduction after going into administration, so Rooney was dealt a difficult hand. Making any firm conclusions about his overall suitability would be unfair.

While the threat of relegation doesn't loom for D.C. United, the former England international inherits another difficult situation.

D.C. missed the playoffs in 2020 and 2021, and the streak is likely to extend to three years.

The club is tied with the Chicago Fire for the fewest points (17) in the Eastern Conference, and it has the conference's worst goal differential (minus-14). That latter figure is skewed by D.C. United's last match, a 7-0 defeat to the Philadelphia Union on Saturday.

Rooney will have the opportunity to rebuild his coaching stock because he's facing a stiff challenge in the nation's capital.

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