Major League Soccer has added another high profile name, as Wayne Rooney’s transfer to DC United was announced on Thursday.
The EPL legend and former England captain signed a 2.5-year designated player contract, with a club option for a third year, reportedly worth $13 million per season. Rooney is expected to make his debut against the Vancouver Whitecaps on July 14 in Washington. That will also be the first time the Whitecaps play former goalkeeper David Ousted, who signed with DC in the offseason.
Rooney’s debut coincides with the opening of DC United’s new home stadium, 20,000-seat Audi Field.
“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. “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 percent – 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.”
Making over $7 million, Sebastian Giovinco was previously the highest-paid player in MLS when the MLS Player’s Association released figures last month.
England’s all-time international goal-scoring leader, Rooney is another in a long line of high profile players to join MLS in recent years. At age 32, Rooney is the same age as David Beckham was when he first joined the LA Galaxy in 2007.
Other big name players from Europe now in the league include Bastian Schweinsteiger (Chicago Fire), David Villa (New York City FC), and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Los Angeles FC).
Rooney is past his prime, but is still an effective player. Scoring 10 goals for Everton last season, the former Manchester United striker finished tied for 16th in goals in the English Premier League.
MLS teams play opponents from the opposing conference just once per season, so fans in Vancouver will need to wait until next year for their chance to see Rooney play at BC Place.
In other news, Alphonso Davies was named to the 26-man roster for the 2018 MLS All-Star Game. The 17-year-old Canadian will suit up for the MLS team that takes on Juventus FC August 1 in Atlanta.
Davies was one of two commissioner selections, with the remaining picks made by head coach Gerardo Martino and fan voting.
Should Davies play, he would be the fourth-youngest player to appear in an MLS All-Star Game. The midfielder is currently tied for third in the league in assists, in addition to scoring two goals.
Davies is the fifth Whitecaps player to represent the team at the All-Star Game, joining Kendall Waston (2016), David Ousted (2015), Camilo (2013), and Jay DeMerit (2012).
Can’t wipe that smile! 😁
— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) June 29, 2018
Here’s the full 2018 MLS All-Star roster:
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Atlanta United), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew SC)
Defenders: Francisco Calvo (Minnesota United), Laurent Ciman (Los Angeles Football Club), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Michael Murillo (New York Red Bulls), Michael Parkhurst (Atlanta United), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Midfielders: Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United), Ezequiel Barco (Atlanta United), Alphonso Davies (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Alberth Elis (Houston Dynamo), Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact), Alexander Ring (New York City FC), Ilie Sanchez (Sporting Kansas City), Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers), Yoshimar Yotún (Orlando City SC), Wilfried Zahibo (New England Revolution)
Forwards: Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy), Josef Martínez (Atlanta United), Carlos Vela (Los Angeles Football Club), David Villa (New York City FC), Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls)