Bastian Schweinsteiger backs Wayne Rooney as DC United coach

Bastian Schweinsteiger Wayne Rooney MLS

D.C. United fans aren’t the only ones anxiously awaiting Wayne Rooney’s debut as head coach of the capital city club.

You can also count German legend and former Chicago Fire FC star Bastian Schweinsteiger among those wishing Rooney good luck as he takes over the Black-and-Red. The 36-year-old Englishman is yet to man the sidelines as he awaits work visa approval.

Schweinsteiger shared some words of encouragement before Bayern Munich, the club he rose to world-class status with, faces Rooney’s D.C. United on Wednesday night in a friendly at Audi Field. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm ET.

Rooney and Schweinsteiger faced each other several times as MLS players while competing for D.C. United and Chicago Fire FC, respectively. They were also teammates at Manchester United in the mid-2010s before coming stateside and were common opponents on the international stage.

While in MLS, Rooney had 23 goals and 15 assists in 48 regular-season games as the forward booked back-to-back Audi MLS Cup Playoffs appearances for D.C. United from 2018-19. Meanwhile, Schweinsteiger had eight goals and 15 assists across 85 regular-season games from 2017-19 as Chicago made the postseason during the midfielder’s first year in the Windy City.

Since retiring, Rooney got into coaching, first at Derby County in England’s Championship before taking over D.C. United. Schweinsteiger works as a TV analyst and supports Bayern.

Rooney was formally named as D.C. United's head coach on July 12. They sit bottom of the league and Eastern Conference tables with 15 regular-season games remaining.