Wayne Rooney Leaving D.C. United for Player-Coach Role with Derby Country

Wayne Rooney. Photo by Tony Quinn/ISI/REX/Shutterstock

Wayne Rooney’s MLS adventure is coming to an end sooner than expected. Rooney announced on Tuesday that he is leaving D.C. United in order to take on a player-coach role with English Championship side Derby County.

Rooney won’t assume his new role immediately, however, as he looks to wrap up the 2019 MLS season with D.C. and try to win MLS Cup. The veteran English forward made 21 appearances in MLS this year,  scoring 11 goals and dishing six assists.

“I remain fully focused on giving my all for the team for the rest of this season and repaying the support shown by the Black-and-Red faithful by hopefully delivering an MLS Cup to Audi Field,” – said Rooney in a statement.  “My time in Major League Soccer is something I will always be proud of.” 

Rooney’s decision to leave the United States was a result of him wanting to be closer to his family. The 33-year-old was also attracted by the opportunity to learn under Derby’s new boss Phillip Cocu.

“Wayne Rooney is an extremely talented and top-class footballer,” – said Cocu of his new player and staff member. “It is an exciting prospect for him to be joining Derby County and he can bring so much to this squad, both on and off the pitch.”

Wayne Rooney joined D.C. United in 2018, signing a three and a half years deal with the club. Rooney’s first year in MLS proved to be quite successful, as he scored 12 goals and provided six assists in 22 games. He was also named into MLS Best XI at the end of 2018.