October 17, 2018
Wayne Rooney scored a stunning long-range free-kick as his sublime form for DC United continued last night.
Having joined the Washington outfit when they were bottom of Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference, United are now on course for the playoffs.
And Rooney furthered DC’s push with an incredible strike to lift the club to a 1-0 win over FC Toronto in the early hours of this morning.
From a near 35 yards, Rooney curled a delightful effort over a three-man wall which Toronto’s Alex Bono could not get to as it sailed into the top corner.
That was the former Manchester United captain’s 10th goal in America inside 18 MLS appearances, having also chipped in with six assists.
His form has been a major catalyst for DC, who have lost just four matches since ex-England international Rooney - the club’s new skipper - arrived.
The 32-year-old, who left Everton for DC in June, has six goals in his last five matches to draw level with Darren Mattocks as the club’s two joint-top goalscorers.
They are now 22 points clear of bottom-placed Orlando City having risen to sixth spot off the back of an eight-match unbeaten streak.
And former United team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic has hailed the impact that Rooney has had since his Stateside switch.
Wayne Rooney: Did you see former Man Utd star’s STUNNING free-kick for DC United?
Wayne Rooney: Did you see former Man Utd star’s STUNNING free-kick for DC United?
The Swede, himself having been a hit for LA Galaxy with 21 goals and six assists in 25 MLS games this term, told Sky Sports News: "I think so far he did fantastic, he changed the team he came to and they have done good results.
"Before he came it was different results, but he has been playing good and scoring goals and he shows that he is Rooney.
"I don't need to describe Rooney. Everybody knows Rooney and they know his quality, so it's only for him to play the games and perform."
DC United have just two games of the season left - against New York City FC and Chicago Fire - and will secure their spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs with a win next time out.
Rooney’s former club United have endured a tricky campaign thus far and trail the league-leading trio of Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool all by seven points.
But the striker still has faith in Jose Mourinho to change the club’s fortunes.
Wayne Rooney: Did you see former Man Utd star’s STUNNING free-kick for DC United?
He told the Daily Telegraph last week: “It’s tough [at United], it has been a tough situation.
“The players, the manager, it has been a tough start to the season. I know Jose is getting a load of stick but I said a few weeks ago, the players have to stand up.
“They have to be counted and they have to be better. The manager can do so much but then it is down to the players on the pitch to produce and probably collectively.
“It [the poor run of form] is a bit of everything coming together but Jose is an easy target. Some of the players have to be better.
“I said the same thing when Louis van Gaal was there. He took a lot of stick but behind closed doors I said to the players, ‘We have to be doing better’.
“Personally I think he [Louis Van Gaal] set us up brilliantly the way but we didn’t produce on the pitch so I am sure that is getting said behind the scenes.”
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