Just days before his one-year anniversary with D.C. United, Wayne Rooney once again made his presence known when he stepped onto the pitch on Wednesday night. The midweek match was against Orlando City, a team that Rooney has had consistent success against. It was in the match against Orlando in August 2018 when Rooney chased down a ball cleared by the Orlando defense, out-running Will Johnson and sending a long ball into the box that Luciano Acosta headed into the net for the game-winning goal.
This time around, he gave the crowds another jaw-dropping play.
Both teams exchanged chances early on in the game, but around the 10th minute, Orlando City was on the prowl. D.C. United’s defense cleared the ball, but the Lions defenders were standing near midfield ready to send the ball back in. A defensive error by Orlando gave Rooney possession of the ball in an onside position and an open field. But before Rooney started charging down the pitch, he looked up and saw that goalkeeper Brian Rowe was way off his line. Rooney launched a rocket from 70 yards out, chipping the ball over Rowe and into the back of the net for the lone goal of the evening.
“I thought it was nice and it was special to score the goal this evening,” Rooney said after the match. “It’s something that I’ve practiced so many times. Different managers and teammates are like why are you practicing this, you won’t score from this position, but for nights like tonight, that’s why I do practice it. It was a good strike and an important goal for us.”
Rooney signed on with the Black-and-Red on June 28th, 2018. In that time he has scored 21 goals and 12 assists in 37 MLS appearances. This season, he has five game-winning goals, including the one against Orlando.
“It’s been fantastic,” Rooney said. “I’ve enjoyed my time here over the course of the year and there is still a lot more to come. We know we can play better. First half we played well, second half we know we can do better, but the win is the important thing because we haven’t won in a few games in the league. Winning today was the main thing.”
The Black-and-Red will have another opportunity to fight for three points this Saturday when they host Toronto FC at Audi Field. Kickoff is at 8:00 PM ET and tickets are available here.