Wayne Rooney not guaranteed to be a success in MLS, says Bob Bradley

Phil Blanche 29/06/2018
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Bob Bradley has warned that Wayne Rooney is not guaranteed to be a success in the United States.

Former England captain Rooney has become the latest big-name player to move to Major League soccer by leaving Everton to join DC United.

But Bradley, the former Swansea and United States manager who is currently in charge of MLS team Los Angeles FC, knows the pitfalls of the Stateside league.

“There’s been many big-name signings in MLS over the years and certainly there are examples of players who have done really well,” Bradley told Press Association Sport.

“David Villa has been a fantastic player since he came to New York City, but as great as Andrea Pirlo and Frank Lampard were, it didn’t go as well for them.

“That’s not to say they weren’t superstars or amazing players, the same with Steven Gerrard as he was not at his earlier level at LA Galaxy.

“Wayne has had an amazing career, but he has to be excited to be here and bring his football week-in and week-out like David Villa.”

DC United are currently bottom of the Eastern Conference in MLS with only two wins in 12 games this season.
Rooney will not be able to play for the Washington DC-based side until the secondary transfer window opens on July 10.

DC United’s first fixture at their new Audi Field home will be against New England Revolution on July 14.
“The league has grown and every team has to figure out what its identity is and what type of football they want to play,” Bradley said.

“What I love about LAFC is that we signed Carlos Vela as our first player and that resonated in the Mexican-American community.

“After that we concentrated on younger players because the feeling was that our football and the way we play had to come first.

“It wasn’t just about going for box-office names, though there are other clubs in the league who have been successful at different times doing that.

“Robbie Keane and David Beckham won Championships at LA Galaxy and it’s great that clubs have different identities.”

Provided by Press Association Sport

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"I've the hunger to be a success here," says Wayne Rooney after joining DC United

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Wayne Rooney‘s dream return to boyhood club Everton is over after one season following the 32-year-old’s move to Major League Soccer side DC United.

England’s record goalscorer rejoined the Toffees after 13 years at Manchester United, where he is also the all-time leading scorer, last summer, but has left just 12 months later for a new challenge in the United States.

The move has been in the pipeline for several weeks and new Everton manager Marco Silva admitted last month he would not stand in the striker’s way if he wanted to leave.

“It is fantastic to be joining DC United at such an exciting time in the club’s history with the new stadium opening in just a few weeks,” said Rooney, who flew out to America on Thursday and has signed a three-and-a-half-year contract.

“Moving to America and MLS fulfills another career ambition for me. I have the hunger to be a success here and will give DC 100 per cent – as I have always done for every team I have ever played for.

“When I visited earlier this summer I was really impressed with everyone I met connected with the club, and of course the new Audi Field.

“Now I can’t wait to get on the pitch in a United shirt and join my new teammates to bring success to this club.”

Rooney, who turns 33 in October, will occupy a designated player spot on the club’s roster and he will be officially added to the squad when the transfer window reopens on July 10, pending receipt of international clearance.

“This is a seminal moment for our fans and organisation,” said DC United’s managing general partner and CEO Jason Levien.

“Wayne is a global soccer icon and his presence at DC United will elevate our product on the pitch and soccer as a whole in our city and in this country.

“Wayne has thrived when competing at the most elite levels of soccer and we’re thrilled to have his leadership as we enter this new era at Audi Field.”

Rooney, who when he re-signed for the Toffees almost a year ago admitted he had been wearing Everton pyjamas with his children, scored 11 goals in 40 appearances last season following his return from Old Trafford.

However, he failed to find the net after December 18 in what turned out to be a disappointing second half of the season both individually and for the club.

However, he leaves with the Toffees’ best wishes.

“Everton and Wayne Rooney have reached an agreement for the player to join MLS side DC United on a permanent transfer,” said an Everton statement.

“From everyone at Everton, we thank Wayne for his service to the club and wish him every success in the next three-and-a-half years with DC United.”

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Wayne Rooney's DC United move 'great' for him and MLS, says David Beckham

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David Beckham believes Wayne Rooney‘s move to DC United is great for the player and Major League Soccer as a whole.

A year after returning to boyhood club Everton from Manchester United, the 32-year-old is on the move again. Rooney completed his move to DC United on Thursday, signing a three-and-a-half year deal with the MLS side.

It is a deal that Beckham, who played for LA Galaxy and is now setting up an MLS franchise in Miami, believes will be great for his former England team-mate and the league.

Beckham told MLS: “I think it’s great for Wayne. I also think it is obviously great for the league, but I think for Wayne personally.

“He’s played for one of the biggest clubs and been successful at one of the biggest clubs in the game, with Manchester United.

“I think when he moved back to Everton after United, I felt that he was going to firstly go from United and play in the US or play in China or Japan.

“But obviously he decided to go back to his boyhood club, which was great for him, it was a great occasion to spend the time he spent back at Everton.”

Beckham is excited that US football fans will get the chance to see yet another Premier League great on a regular basis.

“I think it’s the right move for him. I think it’s exciting for the fans,” he said.

“People that watch the game and understand the game in the US, you know they know who Wayne Rooney is, they know who Zlatan (Ibrahimovic) is. They know these big players.

“So to actually see them perform in their league is something that’s special.

“I think he’ll do really well. I think DC is the right club for him. I think it’s a great city, it’s a great city for him to move with his family and enjoy the time that he’s going to be there.”

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