Wayne Rooney, the former England international, is stepping down from his role as the head coach of DC United in Major League Soccer following the team’s failure to secure a playoff spot. The club has stated that this decision was reached through mutual agreement.
“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,” said Jason Levien the club’s CEO and co-chairman.
“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 DC United player and captain and most recently as our coach.
“He remains an important part of the DC United family and a valued and cherished friend,” he added.
Rooney expressed to the press that this was the appropriate time for him to transition to the next phase.
“It’s the right time. I’ve done everything I can to get this club into the playoffs. It’s not a single thing that’s happened. It’s about timing,” former Manchester United forward Rooney said after his team’s final game of the season, a 2-0 win over New York City FC.
Rooney had served as the manager of the English club Derby County but left in June 2022 due to the club’s financial difficulties. A month later, he joined DC United, having previously been part of the club towards the end of his playing career in 2018 and 2019.
When he took over, DC United was positioned second to last in the Eastern Conference, and they concluded the previous season in the bottom spot. In the current season, despite inconsistent performance, the team had managed to improve to ninth place. Unfortunately, with other teams still having one game left, it wasn’t sufficient to secure a playoff spot.
Rooney informed reporters that he currently had no concrete plans for his future but hinted that he would be returning to England.
“I want to say on record to everyone involved in the club — staff, players: I’m grateful,” he added.
Just last month, Rooney expressed his frustration regarding the absence of discussions about his expiring contract.
Since the dismissal of Lucy Rushton as the general manager in October of the previous year, the club has operated without someone in that role, with Dave Kasper, the president of soccer operations, and Stewart Mairs, the technical director, managing roster decisions.
While Rooney has been working at the club, his wife and family have continued to reside in England.
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