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Rooney returns to the MLS as a coach

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England football legend Wayne Rooney said he did not view coaching DC United as a “step back” following his appointment on Tuesday.

Rooney, 36, who played for DC between 2018 and 2019, resigned as Derby County coach last month after 17 months with the English club, which was hit by financial difficulties and was relegated to the third tier.

Interim coach Chad Ashton will remain in his position until Rooney is granted a work visa.

“Of course I’ve read some articles from England, it’s a step back in my coaching career and I see that as a lack of respect for the competition,” the former Manchester United goalscorer told reporters. Rooney confirmed that his time in Derby helped him develop as a coach.

“Returning to the MLS is an exciting challenge for me and I feel like I can develop more during training,” he added.

Rooney became a full-time derby coach in January 2021 after a successful and temporary spell as a player and coach the previous season.

He resigned last month, saying he hoped to appoint a coach with new energy and not be affected by the turmoil within the club. “I am an ambitious person and of course I would like to train at the highest level, and this is part of the process; But there is an association with this club that I played for before and I am proud to be their coach.”

Rooney scored 253 goals with Manchester United and crowned the English Premier League title and the European Champions League title five times, and he is England’s all-time top scorer with 53 goals.

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