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Wayne Rooney set for England return as MLS play-off hopes end

DC United manager Wayne Rooney has bid farewell to the club as their hopes of securing a spot in the Major League Soccer play-offs ended.

The former England international, who took the reins at the Washington-based team in 2022, marked his departure with a 2-0 victory over New York City FC.

DC United CEO and co-chairman Jason Levien said on the club’s official website: “We have spoken with Wayne and agreed it is best for us to part ways at this time. 

“This decision creates the avenue for our next general manager to have the full opportunity to impart a new philosophy and structure onto our sporting operations, which begins with the critical identification of a head coach who will best align with this.

“We are grateful to Wayne Rooney for all he has done for our club and soccer in the nation’s capital, first as a DC United player and captain and most recently as our coach. 

“He remains an important part of the DC United family and a valued and cherished friend.”

Rooney’s journey in the MLS began in 2018 when he moved to Washington as a player, spending 15 months there before embarking on his managerial career at Derby County

After returning to DC United last summer, the 37-year-old improved the club’s points tally, but will now return to England.

Rooney said (via the Washington Post): “It’s just the right time. I think I’ve done everything I can to try and get the club into [the] play-offs. 

“It’s not one single thing which has happened, it’s about timing in your career. I have really enjoyed my time here. But I just feel it’s the right time to go back to England. What lies ahead, I don’t know.”

As the curtain closes on Rooney’s chapter at DC United, fans and pundits will wonder what the future holds for the MLS club and the former Manchester United attacker.

A return to the Championship could be on the cards for Rooney, but he has nothing lined up at the moment.

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