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'I want to be great' - Rooney says there is 'no chance' D.C. United finish last in MLS again

22:49 GMT+3 12/01/2023
Wayne Rooney D.C. United 2022
D.C. United head coach Wayne Rooney says there is "no chance" that the team finishes last in MLS this season, his first full campaign in charge.
  • Rooney desperate for MLS success
  • Club finished last in MLS in 2022
  • New signings provide reason for optimism

WHAT HAPPENED? Rooney took over midway through the 2022 campaign, replacing Hernan Lozada. However, the club was never able to build any sort of momentum, finishing last in MLS by a seven-point margin.

WHAT THEY SAID: “There's no chance I'm finishing bottom of that league again, there's no chance,” Rooney said in a video that the club shared on their official channels. “I've been in the game a long time and it hurts. When you look at that league table and you're at the bottom, it hurts. We need to push, and you can say what do you want to push for? I want to be great. I want to be remembered. I want to be successful.”

He added: “There's a lot of history at this club, it's the most successful in MLS. We need to get it back to that, and we can. I think we will. But it's on you to be able to do that and believe in yourselves. It's the most important thing, believe in yourself as an individual. Believe in your teammates, believe in yourselves as a group and you can do that.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: D.C. United have brought in a number of new players, headlined by European veterans Christian Benteke and Mateusz Klich. And the club may not be done as they look to improve a squad that was clearly overmatched last season.

“We've brought a lot of experience in, which we needed, players who know the league,” said Rooney. “We've brought players from different leagues. We're still looking for more players. We're still trying to improve.”

IN TWO PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR D.C. UNITED? D.C. are now starting preseason ahead of the MLS campaign in late February.