After a strong start, D.C. United is
fading fast. A 2-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls dropped United into fifth place. It was the third loss in four games in August.
At the center of it all again is Rooney for not the right reasons. Two weeks after he announced he was returning to England to become the player-manager at Derby County, cutting short his contract with D.C. United by two years, he was sent off against the Red Bulls after jostling with Cristian Casseres Jr. on a corner kick in the 21st minute and pushing the young Venezuelan to the ground.
On Video Review, referee Ismail Elfath red-carded Rooney for what appeared to be an elbow into the face of Casseres.
“Anyone who knows the game of football can see what the intent was,” Rooney said of the call. “It was to try to ease the player out. And referee saw it as a red card, and so I’m very disappointed.”
The red card came four days after Rooney was subbed out of United's 1-0 at Vancouver in the second half and lashed out at the fourth official, shouting “every f***ing game” in reference what he said later was the lack of protection he felt he was getting from MLS referees. An unhappy Rooney also complained about MLS's travel policies, saying the 12-hour trip home could have been six if the team had a charter.
The losses to the Whitecaps and Red Bulls extended United's winless streak to four games with Rooney on the field. The only it's won since the All-Star Game was a 2-1 win over the LA Galaxy that Rooney missed because he was ill after returning from England to sign with Derby County.
D.C. United Schedule:
Aug. 24 at Philadelphia
Aug. 31 at Montreal
Sept. 15 at Portland
Sept. 22 Seattle
Sept. 29 at NY Red Bulls
Oct. 6 FC Cincinnati.