'I did exactly what Wayne Rooney said' - USMNT prospect Kevin Paredes praises Man Utd legend for giving 'correct guidance'

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United States men's national team hopeful Kevin Paredes credited Wayne Rooney as one of his early career inspirations.
  • Crossed paths at DC United
  • Paredes now turning heads in Bundesliga
  • Rooney one of many influential figures

WHAT HAPPENED? Paredes revealed that he crossed paths with Rooney when he was in DC United's system, when Rooney had just retired as a player but was still hanging around the squad. He said those meetings with the now-manager of the MLS club were beneficial to his development and showed how much the Manchester United icon cared about helping others.

WHAT THEY SAID: "We were in the same team for the five-a-side team,” Paredes told MLSsoccer.com. “That was a crazy experience because I just asked for small tips for us to win games. He just told me, ‘Give me the ball at this spot and we'll be good.’ I did exactly what he said, I gave him the ball, he goes, shoots, scores and I was like, ‘Wow this guy is crazy.’ Even in those training sessions, he was a really nice guy to me. Like I said, it's not normal for someone who's a legend like him just to give me some tips and stuff and help me. He didn't have to do that, but he did.”

He added: “A lot of things happen fast in football and with the correct guidance and the correct players that were on my team, the staff on my team, they made it all possible.”

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Paredes is enjoying a breakout second half of the season with Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga that has put him in the 2026 World Cup squad picture with the USMNT. The 19-year-old is currently nursing a tweaked thigh muscle but could feature heavily for the Stars and Stripes this summer.

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Kevin Paredes wolfsburg 2022-23

Kevin Paredes

Paredes Wolfsburg 2022

WHAT NEXT FOR PAREDES? He will try to return to club action before the end of the season as Wolfsburg aim to finish in the top half of the Bundesliga before potentially being involved with the USMNT in the Nations League and Gold Cup this summer.