Wayne Rooney is all set to take the helm for D.C. United on Sunday.
Interim head coach Chad Ashton revealed Rooney has gotten his work visa approved, allowing him to take over and lead his first match for D.C. United on Sunday against Orlando City SC.
Though the Black-and-Red first hired Rooney on July 12, he watched from the sidelines amid ongoing paperwork. Ashton remained in charge for the three league matches after Rooney’s announcement, maintaining his post as interim head coach since the dismissal of Hernan Losada on April 20.
In the new set-up, Ashton will revert to his original assistant role.
“He’ll be patrolling the sidelines this weekend and we’re looking forward to that,” Ashton said in the press conference. “A little more normalcy involved.”
Rooney’s coming in after previously coaching Derby County in England’s second division, helping them avoid relegation in the 2020/21 season before a points deduction heavily contributed to their drop in the 2021/22 campaign.
But he’s in for a challenge as D.C. United sit bottom of the Eastern Conference table with 18 points in 20 matches after a disappointing start to the 2022 season. The team has won only five games so far, losing 12 and drawing three.
Rooney hopes to make an immediate impact, starting with changes to the roster. The Secondary Transfer Window has welcomed Miguel Berry, Ravel Morrison and Victor Palsson, while departing with right wingback Julian Gressel.
With just 14 regular-season games to go, D.C. United still has the possibility of turning things around.