WATCH: 'Switch your f*cking minds on!' - Wayne Rooney's expletive-laden D.C. United half-time team talk that inspired comeback vs Toronto in MLS season opener
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WHAT HAPPENED? The 37-year-old – who is the Red Devils’ all-time leading scorer and sits level with Harry Kane at the top of the Three Lions’ goal chart – returned to America to take on a coaching role in the summer of 2022. Rooney experienced a tough start to his reign in MLS, as D.C. United finished bottom of the Eastern Conference, but the hope is that positive progress can be made this term.
WHAT THEY SAID: Rooney is doing his best to inspire those around him, with a rousing team talk heading into a meeting with a star-studded Toronto side seeing him tell his troops: “I've seen some of the interviews from their side. They've come here expecting to win. I got asked a question in the press conference 'what's your expectations, because everyone else in the league don't expect us to do anything.' I don't give a f*ck what anyone else thinks. Believe in yourselves as a group, as individuals. Be a team, whatever happens. It might be that we go a goal down, it doesn't matter. Believe that you can get back in the game and go win the game. We can do great things this season, and it starts tonight.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: D.C. United took the lead against Toronto, but Rooney requested more from them at half-time and required two goals in the dying stages from Christian Benteke and Theodore Ku-DiPetro to claim a 3-2 success. He had added to his players at half-time: “Make sure we're f*cking clinical, lads. Kill the game off. Switch your f*cking minds on.”
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𝑪𝒉𝒊𝒍𝒍𝒔.#VAMOSUNITED pic.twitter.com/nxOrNZSr8j— D.C. United (@dcunited) February 28, 2023
WHAT NEXT? Having made a winning start to their 2023 campaign against one of the pre-season favourites, Rooney will be hoping to see D.C. United kick on from here – allowing him to enhance a reputation in coaching circles that saw him earn plenty of praise for impressive work carried out in testing circumstances at Derby.