[MLS] John Rooney, the younger brother of Manchester United and England forward Wayne Rooney, is bound for the adidas Combine and, presumably, selection in the 2011 SuperDraft.
MLS announced Monday that Rooney, 20, has signed an MLS contract and will be showcased at the Combine in Florida prior to the Jan. 13 SuperDraft in Baltimore. He declined a contract offer from Macclesfield Town of English League Two (Fourth Division) last summer, and went on trial with League One club Huddersfield Town before training with Seattle and Portland in August.
Rooney had played for Macclesfield Town since 2008 and scored three goals in 41 appearances, 25 of them starts. In an interview with mlssoccer.com, Rooney said, “Midfield is my best position. I’m probably more of an attacking midfielder. Getting on the ball and making stuff happen, creating plays.”
Though the Combine is primarily for college players, the league has in the past occasionally used it to showcase non-college players in a competitive environment. The visits to Portland and Seattle were trials in the sense that the league got feedback on whether or not he should be invited to the Combine. As such, he won’t be subject to the discovery process or other player-distribution mechanisms unless he isn’t selected in the SuperDraft.
Of MLS itself, he said, “I’ve been watching the league for a few years now and it’s getting better and better every year. When I went over there in August I thoroughly enjoyed it. I went to one of the Seattle games and the Sounders fans were great. They had great support and it was a great experience. When I went over there it was fantastic from the start.”
He hasn’t played competitively since the end of the League Two season in May and for the past four months has trained to get fit for the Combine.