WASHINGTON -- Ben Olsen declined to elaborate on the state of his club’s pursuit of English superstar Wayne Rooney on Tuesday, and admitted he can’t quite relate to some exceptionally strong opinions surrounding the potential move.
“It has come to me through a few people that there is some positive and negative spins to the whole thing,” the D.C. United coach said after training. “I don’t really give a [crap] what the media has right now. It’s they’re job to live in this hyperbole world. If that guy came to our team, I’m pretty sure he’d be pretty good.”
Last Thursday, Olsen confirmed to a TMZ reporter staking out Washington's Reagan National Airport the club was interested in England’s all-time goal scoring leader, who is currently still on the books at his boyhood club Everton.
“That was a first,” Olsen quipped. “I suppose I won’t get caught off guard again.”
And since the Washington Post first reported last week that D.C.’s pursuit had become serious, several well-known pundits have given public reactions, and not all of them positive.
In particular, Fox Sports’ Alexi Lalas told TMZ a Rooney to D.C. move “doesn’t move the needle,” prompting Olsen to question, “Who’s Alexi Lalas?”
More recently, during halftime of Sunday’s Cascadia Cup fixture between Seattle and Portland, ESPN’s Taylor Twellman Sunday questioned whether D.C. had the club infrastructure required to weather the attention a move for Rooney would bring.
“The hyperbole of everything is just unbelievable, the lack of reality,” Olsen responded Tuesday. “Just stepping back is hard to do right now I think for a lot of people.
“We’re going to continue to try to make this team better with some additions in the summer. That, you can bank on. Who it is, we’re continuing to try and find that out.”
Despite Rooney’s prolific offensive record, the 32-year-old has switched between a striking and attacking midfield role throughout his career and especially recently. Olsen did not commit to a set role for Rooney, should he in fact don the Black-and-Red.
“I still view him as an attacking piece,” Olsen said. “But again, he’s not our player. When and if he ever is, I’ll let you know our plans.”