Wayne Rooney, DC United mutually part ways

Wayne Rooney part ways DC

D.C. United and head coach Wayne Rooney have mutually agreed to part ways, the club announced Saturday evening in the immediate aftermath of being eliminated from the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs.

Rooney originally joined the Black-and-Red in July 2022, returning to the club he played for from 2018-19. The Manchester United and England national team legend arrived after a two-year stay in charge of English Championship side Derby County.

“We have spoken with Wayne and agreed it is best for us to part ways at this time. This decision creates the avenue for our next general manager to have the full opportunity to impart a new philosophy and structure onto our sporting operations, which begins with the critical identification of a head coach who will best align with this,” D.C. United CEO and co-chairman Jason Levien said in a release.

“We are grateful to Wayne Rooney for all he has done for our club and for soccer in the nation’s capital, first as a D.C. United player and captain and most recently as our coach. He remains an important part of the D.C. United family and a valued and cherished friend.”

In 2023, the club went 10W-14L-10D (40 points) during Rooney’s only full season in charge. D.C. finished bottom of the overall league table in 2022, limping to a 7W-21-6D record (27 points) that earned them a Wooden Spoon.

D.C.’s playoff elimination followed a 2-0 win over New York City FC in Matchday 37 – their final game of the 2023 campaign. While the Black-and-Red are ninth in the Eastern Conference table, they won’t play on Decision Day and it’s guaranteed one (or more) teams below them will leapfrog them.

This season, Belgian international striker Christian Benteke was D.C.'s leading scorer with 14 goals and four assists. Polish international midfielder Mateusz Klich, a fellow DP and Premier League veteran, tallied 4g/9a after his wintertime arrival.