Wayne Rooney is no longer the coach of D.C. United after just one season, the team announced on Saturday night.
D.C. United and Rooney have mutually agreed to go their separate ways, according to a statement posted by the team on social media. This makes D.C. United the ninth team in the Major League Soccer (MLS) to change coaches this season.
Despite a 2-0 victory on Saturday, D.C. United did not qualify for the playoffs. Rooney, in his first full season as coach, helped the team accumulate 40 points with a record of 10-10-14. However, their playoff hopes were dashed when CF Montreal defeated the Portland Timbers 4-1.
This is the fourth consecutive year that D.C. United has failed to make the playoffs, matching a club record set from 2008-2011.
Jason Levien, the CEO and co-chairman of D.C. United, stated in a social media post that parting ways with Rooney will allow the team’s new general manager to “implement a new philosophy and structure in our sporting operations, starting with the crucial appointment of a Head Coach who aligns best with our vision.”
Rooney was appointed as coach last year after managing Derby County in the English Championship for two years. Prior to that, he played as a designated player for United, featuring in 48 matches, scoring 23 goals, and providing 15 assists. In 2018, Rooney was named in the MLS Best XI and was an All-Star in 2019. He also made it to the final round of the MLS MVP selection in 2018.
Levien expressed gratitude to Rooney for his contributions to the club and soccer in the Nation’s Capital, both as a player and captain of D.C. United, and most recently as their coach. Rooney will continue to be an important part of the D.C. United family and a cherished friend.