Rooney hits back at MLS critics after DC United appointment

Wayne Rooney has hit back at critics of Major League Soccer after he was officially unveiled as DC United manager.

The Englishman departed Derby County last month after their relegation to League One.

Rooney played for DC United from 2018 to 2020 and will now take the managerial reins.

Asked if moving to MLS was a step back in his career, Rooney said: “I really find that a bit disrespectful to this league.

“I feel the experience I gained at Derby County over the past 18 months has been great in my development as a manager and to come back here to the MLS, to D.C. United, was an exciting challenge for me.

“I feel I can develop here as a coach, but also the team need to improve. That’s obvious for everyone to see. I really believe with my capabilities of developing young players that we can get this club back to successful ways again.

“It’s going to take a lot of hard work but I’m here to do it and really improve the team.”

He added: “As a player, playing at the top level you could really choose which club you want to go to.

“As a manager I’m at the beginning of that journey — I have to put the work, the hours in…One day I want to manage at the top level. And this is part of that process.”