TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Transfer
It's official: Wayne Rooney will be suiting up in Black-and-Red.
D.C. United announced on Thursday they have signed the English star on a permanent transfer from Everton, inking him to a three-and-a-half year deal after weeks of speculation regarding a potential move.
"It is fantastic to be joining D.C. United at such an exciting time in the club’s history with the new stadium opening in just a few weeks,” Rooney said in a team statement. "Moving to America and MLS fulfills another career ambition for me. I have the hunger to be a success here and will give D.C. 100 percent – as I have always done for every team I have ever played for.
"When I visited earlier this summer I was really impressed with everyone I met connected with the club, and of course the new Audi Field. Now I can’t wait to get on the pitch in a United shirt and join my new teammates to bring success to this club.”
Rooney, 32, joins the four-time MLS Cup champions after a decorated career in his native England. Getting his start as a precocious 16-year-old with Everton in 2002, the striker burst onto the scene with his hometown club, before making a high-profile move to Manchester United in 2004.
With the Red Devils, Rooney won five Premier League titles, three League Cups, an FA Cup, a UEFA Champions League title, a Europa League title and a FIFA Club World Cup. In additional to a slew of individual accolades, including Premier League Player of the Season in 2009-10, Rooney finished his tenure with Manchester United as the team's all-time leading Premier League scorer, with 183 goals in 393 appearances. The Liverpool native returned to Everton in 2017, scoring 10 goals in the recently concluded Premier League season.
Rooney was also an England international from 2003-2016, leading the line for the Three Lions and becoming the all-time leading scorer for his country, with 53 goals in 119 appearances. He played in three World Cups ('06, '10, '14) and three European Championship tournaments ('04, '12, '16) with England.
“Wayne is undoubtedly one of the best players in Premier League history and his goal scoring record for club and country speaks for itself,” said D.C. United GM and VP of Soccer Operations Dave Kasper. “He is a world-class player and he elevates those around him, both through his work-ethic and winning mentality. We are beyond excited to add someone of Rooney’s caliber and we are thrilled to welcome him to D.C.”
D.C. United's new star, who will occupy a Designated Player slot on the team's roster, will be available for selection following the opening of the Secondary Transfer Window on July 10. He will be eligible for the club's inaugural match at their new home, Audi Field, on July 14 when they host Vancouver Whitecaps FC (8 pm ET on ESPN+ in USA and TSN in Canada) and is expected to make his debut in that match, per a club release.
"This is a seminal moment for our fans and organization,” said United Managing General Partner and CEO Jason Levien. "Wayne is a global soccer icon and his presence at D.C. United will elevate our product on the pitch and soccer as a whole in our city and in this country. Wayne has thrived when competing at the most elite levels of soccer and we’re thrilled to have his leadership as we enter this new era at Audi Field.”
Currently in last place in the Eastern Conference (2W-6L-4D, 10 pts), D.C. United will be looking to make up the 11 points that separate them from the last and final playoff spot. They have several games in hand to accomplish the feat and the remainder of their 22 regular season matches include 15 at Audi Field.
Wayne Rooney | Image courtesy of D.C. United