IMAGE: rooney training

Rooney prepared to add leadership, experience to young United squad

Wayne Rooney joins D.C. United as Major League Soccer’s newest international icon, and with the summer transfer window open and the forward now officially a rostered member of United, the Englishman is eligible to make his MLS debut. One of the most successful players in the history of the England national team and European Premier League, Rooney’s patented style of play will undoubtedly be on display for the Black-and-Red throughout their inaugural season at Audi Field.

A versatile forward capable of playing striker and midfielder, Rooney’s greatest asset is his powerful right leg that enables him to finish both inside and outside of the penalty area. Across all competitions, Rooney has scored more than 200 career goals with his right leg thanks to his strong striking ability matched only by his pinpoint accuracy.

The five-time English champion also adds a touch of creativity on the pitch, as his improvisation shows in both goalscoring and creating opportunities for teammates. As a change of pace to unleashing his heavy shot, Rooney has also been known to deceive goalkeepers by finessing shots across the goal line.

While he’s best known for his world-class goals, Rooney is also adept at playing long balls into space which affords his teammates the opportunity to apply heavy pressure in the final third. When playing around the box, Rooney has the tendency to cut inside and penetrate gaps to collapse defenses. Then, with the defensive attention that the prolific goalscorer attracts, teammates are given the opportunity to make trailing runs for quick shots on net when Rooney lays off the ball.

Despite his slight stature, the five-foot-nine forward is also effective playing in the air thanks to his strength and physicality. With 40 headed goals from his time with Everton, Manchester United, and the English national team, along with his unforgettable bicycle kick goal in the 2011 Manchester Derby, Rooney’s aerial skills will be a welcome addition for United.

Above all else, Rooney plays with an undisputed desire to win. His competitive edge is on full display in the attack and after possession is lost, as the Englishman uses his grit and work ethic to fight for his teammates.

With a young team in D.C. United, Rooney’s vast knowledge of the game and drive to win will be an invaluable addition to the lineup. As a player who exudes confidence, Rooney’s impact will extend past his goalscoring prowess as he serves as a leader on the field and in the locker room.