D.C. United have announced that following the conclusion of the 2019 MLS season, star forward Wayne Rooney will be departing the club to continue his career in England in order to be closer to family. It was announced today that, with the consent of D.C. United, Rooney completed negotiations to become a player-coach for Derby County in the English Championship in 2020.
“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," Wayne Rooney, said. "My time in Major League Soccer is something I will always be proud of. The supporters in the Screaming Eagles, Barra Brava and District Ultras have made my time in America so enjoyable. While the decision to move home was a tough one, family is everything to us and we make this change to be closer to the ones we love back in England. The opportunity to go back home and start the next step of my career in coaching was the factor that made my mind up. I would like to thank everyone at D.C. United for the incredible support my family and I have received over my two seasons at the club.”
"After speaking to Wayne and understanding his difficult situation of being so far away from his family, we have accepted that this is the best decision for all parties," Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien, D.C. United Co-Chairmen, said. "Our main focus now is the 2019 MLS Season and ensuring we make a push towards the playoffs with the ultimate goal of bringing an MLS Cup back to the District. Wayne is an exceptional leader and one of the most iconic players to play the game so we look forward to his continued contributions to the team this season."
Terms of the deal with Derby County are undisclosed. Rooney will become a club ambassador for D.C. United.
Rooney and D.C. United are currently in fourth place in the Eastern Conference Standings, just six points out of the top spot, and will face the LA Galaxy at home on August 11 (7:30 PM ET, FS1/FOX Deportes).