After a lengthy courting process, Wayne Rooney has officially been unveiled as D.C. United's latest signing.
Wayne Rooney is officially a member of D.C. United, the MLS team announced Thursday.
Rooney, 32, comes to MLS after spending a year back at Everton in the Premier League. The striker began his career with Everton, debuting in 2002 at the age of 16, before returning 13 years later after a storied tenure at Manchester United. According to The Washington Post, Rooney is signed on a guaranteed deal worth nearly $13 million, making him the highest-paid player in club history. D.C. and Everton have announced the deal is for three-and-a-half years, with the Post reporting the last year is an option.
Rooney is England's all-time scorer in international matches, scoring 53 goals in 119 matches. He is also the all-time leading scorer (253) in the history of Manchester United, where he won five Premier League titles and a Champions League crown. Only Alan Shearer (260) scored more than Rooney's 208 Premier League goals.
Although Rooney has signed with D.C. United, he cannot play with the side until the MLS transfer window opens on July 10. That comes just in time for him to be the center attraction for D.C., when it plays its inaugural match at its new home stadium, Audi Field, on July 14 against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
"It is fantastic to be joining D.C. United at such an exciting time in the club’s history with the new stadium opening in just a few weeks," Rooney said in a club statement. "Moving to America and MLS fulfills another career ambition for me. I have the hunger to be a success here and will give D.C. 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."
Rooney will look to inject some life into an anemic D.C. attack, which has scored 19 goals in its 12 matches. The team currently sits at the bottom of the Eastern Conference table, but will have a backloaded schedule of home matches after playing 10 of those games on the road and two at temporary sites near Washington.