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Wayne Rooney departs as DC United manager and will return to England

Wayne Rooney walks on to the Audi Field pitch before the match against New York City FC

Wayne Rooney is leaving DC United after their hopes of making the Major League Soccer playoffs ended. The former England forward had been in charge at the Washington club since last summer but Sunday’s 2-0 victory over New York City FC proved to be his final match.

The club’s CEO and co-chairman, Jason Levien, told dcunited.com: “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 on to our sporting operations, which begins with the critical identification of a head coach who will best align with this.

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“We are grateful to Wayne Rooney for all he has done for our club and for 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 first moved to the MLS in 2018, spending 15 months in Washington as a player, and returned last summer after starting his managerial career at Derby. The 37-year-old improved DC United’s points tally but is heading back to England.

“It’s just the right time,” said Rooney in quotes reported by the Washington Post. “I think I’ve done everything I can to try and get the club into [the] playoffs. 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.”

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