Wayne Rooney was a sensation after joining D.C. United midway through the 2018 season, but he didn't notch a hat trick in his first season in MLS. Early in his second season, however, that has been accomplished.
The English star got off the mark from the penalty spot in the 34th minute to put D.C. ahead, and doubled his tally and his team's lead seven minutes later with a deft chip over RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando. He completed the hat trick in the 65th minute, as his far-post run paid dividends, as Junior Moreno's pass set up a tap-in for Rooney.
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The performance by Rooney gives him three goals and two assists through three games this season, as D.C. United currently sit atop the Eastern Conference. While the player expressed happiness over his performance, he paid tribute to his team and their stout defense.
"To score a hat trick is always great, I’m happy to score three, but I’m pleased for the team. It was a great victory for us. After preparing in the preseason and getting seven points in the first three before break, it’s a good start. Three clean sheets is big for us," Rooney told reporters after the match.
United return to action on March 31 when they will face Orlando City SC at Orlando City Stadium (6:30 pm ET | FS1, FOX Deportes US; MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada).
The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season through both media and fan voting in a process conducted by MLS Communications. A panel of journalists from the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) comprises 75 percent of the vote, while a Twitter fan vote represents the remaining 25 percent of voting. NASR consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.