In Wayne Rooney’s debut, DC United climbs to a stunning win

In Wayne Rooney's debut, DC United climbs to a stunning win


Minutes before DC United’s game against Orlando City kicked off on Sunday, Wayne Rooney climbed the steps behind Audifield’s south goal and received a standing ovation from the assembled crowd.

It’s been four years since he arrived in Washington as a player, but in this second round, he’s taken on the responsibility of a head coach tasked with rejuvenating a team going through tough times.

What happened over the next two hours in foggy conditions revived some of the magic that Rooney introduced as a striker in 2018 and 2019. Staring at another defeat, United not only equalized in the last minute, but won it in the last seconds of the hiatus. time, 2-1.

Chris Durkin scored the equalizer in one time from the center of the penalty area, then fired a Taxi Fontas from 12 yards, firing a litter between 15805 at Buzzard Point.

“The season has to start now,” Rooney said, Which was set three weeks ago But he was confined to an advisory role until he obtained a work visa late last week. “Personality is a big word that I have used over the past two weeks with the team. We need to be a team that shows a lot of character, combat and teamwork.”

Coming late early, United (6-12-3) showed those qualities in an exciting second half and won only for the second time since early May.

“That’s exactly what we need,” said defender Brendan Heinz Ike. “We need to know that we can win matches. You lose a lot of matches, and you forget what winning means.”

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United’s perseverance has finally paid off in an amazing way. With the first minute of stoppage time passed, substitute Ola Kamara hit a cross from the left side to Dworkin to score his first goal of the year.

“When we scored, we were still pushing and we still wanted to score another goal,” Dworkin said.

Martin Rodriguez, the substitute, sent a long ball to Kimarni Smith, the substitute. Smith hit the ball from the left side into the center of the penalty area, where Fountas once hit the right corner to score his team’s 11th best goal. Almost four weeks ago, Fountas I scored a hat trick in Orlando.

“I am proud that the players did not accept a draw,” said captain Stephen Birnbaum.

As a player, Ronnie spoiled Orlando (8-9-6) with goals, including 60 yards, and Great help sequence That cemented his place in US history. As a coach, with United undergoing roster changes and the team at the bottom of the table, his impact on Sunday had limits.

The players said that what he instilled was faith and the freedom to express themselves.

“The big thing I’ve seen in my research on the team is when a player makes a mistake, they struggle and find it hard to come back from that,” Rooney said. “I understand players will make mistakes – no problem. I want them to try things. I want them to risk the ball in the right areas. And if they make mistakes and give the ball, try again. That’s part of the game. Giving players that mental freedom and the ability to do that starts to happen.” difference”.

It didn’t start well. Orlando took the lead in the ninth minute, the fifth time in seven games that United had conceded a goal in the first 15 minutes.

After a bosom from the capital in midfield, Alexandre Pato slid the ball forward to Junior Urso with a one-time move from the top corner of the penalty area. With goalkeeper Rafael Romo off the goal line, Orso hit the ball into the far side.

In the 28th minute, Romo was caught running forward on a long ball, and amid a crazy scramble by defenders to cover the open net, Pato missed aloft. Ten minutes later, Orlando’s Benji Michel missed the open net.

The match started to sour with the entry of Rodriguez, the Chilean winger at the end of the first half, who made his debut last weekend. Fontas had a great chance to equalize in the 61st minute, but Pedro Galeese made a spectacular save with his leg.

United were full of energy and opportunity, culminating with two late strikes.

“Now it’s about consistency,” Heinz Eyck said. Can DC United compile a string of results? Or is it going back to the same age in the last few months? We can’t accept that anymore.”

Here’s what else you need to know about United’s win:

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Romo made his eighth straight start and John Kempin was the usual alternate, but with Acquisition of David Ochoa From Real Salt Lake last week, the scroll order is about to change.

Ochoa, 21, is scheduled to fly to Charlotte on Wednesday and looks almost certain to start. In this case, Romo will drop to #2 on the depth chart.

Bill Hamid, a longtime freshman in the final year of his contract, continues to rehabilitate a hand injury that required surgery on June 30. The initial schedule for his return was two to three months.

Leave Estrada from the list again

Striker Michael Estrada was a health scratcher for the second game in a row, a likely sign that United are planning to end their season-long loan from Mexican club Toluca soon. The Ecuadorean national team player has four goals and four assists in 16 league matches (11 starts), but he hasn’t scored since May 21.

United have the option to buy his contract after this season for $5 million. By bringing him back to Toluca, the club will clear a senior roster space, including an international slot. …

Striker Nigel Roertha, who scored one goal and three assists in 14 matches (five starts), also had a scratch. He is under contract until 2023. …

Midfielders Russell Kanoz (leg injury) and Ted Coe DiPetro (non-Covid recovery) were not available. Midfielder Victor Balson, He got it from Schalke 04 last weekWaiting for a work visa. …

Rooney’s debut wasn’t the only Sunday. Ravel Morrison, an attacking midfielder who traveled and played for Rooney at Derby County, scored 90 minutes.

Starting at the six-minute mark, a minute of applause was held in memory of Len Oliver, the National Football Hall of Fame and longtime personality in football in the metropolitan area who He passed away on July 24. He was 88 years old. Family members present wore jerseys bearing the number 6, Oliver’s number as a player.

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