MLS Focus: Wayne Rooney helps put D.C. United in position for playoff push

Suddenly, all those games in hand D.C. United pocketed as it waited to open Audi Field might mean something.

Wayne Rooney spearheaded United to a 4-1 win over the Portland Timbers with two goals on Wednesday. The win was just the sixth of the season -- and only second over a team with a winning record -- but it allowed United to jump out of last place over three teams -- Chicago, Toronto FC and Orlando City -- and into eighth place in MLS's Eastern Conference.

D.C. United is just six points behind Philadelphia and Montreal, tied for fifth place. It trails seventh-place New England by only five points, having cut the margin down from 17 points at the end of June.

Most important, D.C. United has four games in hand on Montreal and two on Philadelphia and New England. And over the next two weeks, it plays both the Revs and Union at Audi Field, where it is 4-1-0.

Rooney, the hero of last Sunday's 3-2 win over Orlando City with his tackle and assist in stoppage time, says United shouldn't get too far ahead of itself.

“It’s important that we take each game as it comes and our game Sunday is an important three points," he said of the match against the Revs. "Our intention was to get nine points this week and we’ve put ourselves in quite a position to push for the playoffs. Hopefully, we can keep getting results and keep moving forward.”

Rooney said playing three games in a week is no problem for him. D.C. United coach Ben Olsen asked his new captain how he felt after playing 85 minutes on Wednesday.

"I said I feel fine," he said. "I want to play. I came here to play. There’s been many times throughout my career where I’ve played three games in a week, it’s probably more normal for me to do that. I’ll be all good for Sunday.”
2 comments about "MLS Focus: Wayne Rooney helps put D.C. United in position for playoff push".
  1. Bob Ashpole, August 16, 2018 at 8:52 a.m.

    Are the good times returning for DC United? DC is a better team with Rooney, no question, but Rooney is leading the team, not carrying it. That is indeed an excellent situation for everyone in the clubhouse and the stands. The highlights from the Portland game looked pretty good. Suddenly I am interested in watching some MLS games again.

  2. Goal Goal, August 16, 2018 at 12:14 p.m.

    Wayne Rooney is a blue collar type of guy. He has an unstoppable work ethic and let’s nothing get in his way.  Unlike many of the prima donnas we have in this game.  It is good to see him here and making a difference.

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