Wayne Rooney prepares to coach DC United for the first time

Suspension

Nearly three weeks after being named head coach of DC United, Wayne Rooney will make his MLS debut on Sunday afternoon at Audi Field.

United interim coach Chad Ashton has confirmed since late April, Friday, that Rooney, the Englishman who played for the club in 2018-2019, has obtained his work visa and will oversee the match against Orlando City.

“He will be patrolling on the sidelines this weekend,” Ashton said on the team’s weekly media call. “We’re looking forward to it. More normalcy is included” in the training setting.

Ashton, twice temporary DC coach and assistant for 15 years, will remain on Rooney’s staff. Since signing the contract during the 2023 season (with an option owned by the club in 2024), Rooney has collaborated with Ashton on formation and formation decisions and interacted with players at the training grounds in Leesburg and before and after matches.

He also worked closely with the front office to obtain players ahead of the league’s transfer and trade deadline of August 4.

Sfriluga: Wayne Rooney is a big star. Most importantly, he wants to train.

While waiting for the visa, Rooney was classified as an advisor and was not allowed to train on match day. Watch the home and away matches from wing level with, among others, Pete Shuttleworth, his former assistant at English club Derby County joining the capital’s staff. The work visa application for Shuttleworth is still being processed.

The rest of the staff are expected to remain the same: Ashton, Nicholas Frutos, Frederic Brien and goalkeeper coach Diego Restrepo.

United were 2-4-0 when second-year coach Hernan Losada was sent off. Ashton had a 3-8-3 record.

Rooney will attempt to revive the last-placed MLS 28-team club at 5-12-3 and is on track to miss the playoffs for the third year in a row. United have been without a win in four consecutive games and 1-7-3 since mid-May.

Rooney wasn’t the only one who got a work permit late this week. Ashton said on Friday that former Derby County midfielder Ravel Morrison, an Englishman who represents Jamaica in international circles, has obtained his work visa and will wear a uniform on Sunday.

Morrison – the former Manchester United player who has been with his 13th team for 12 years – has not played since mid-June for Jamaica. He trained for about a week with United.

“I don’t know from an exact point of view what that would look like, but we’ll just try to get it out there and see exactly where it is in terms of fitness,” Ashton said. He obviously knows [Rooney’s] The system is very well done, so we are excited to get him on the field.”

Morrison will be the third newcomer to see competition last week after striker Miguel Perry and winger Martin Rodriguez debuted against Montreal.

Defensive midfielder Victor Balsson, acquired this week from German club Schalke 04, is awaiting a work visa. The goal is to be in uniform on August 13th in New England. Goalkeeper David Ochoa, whose acquisition of Real Salt Lake has yet to be officially announced, appears likely to be in uniform this weekend.

RSL coach Pablo Mastrowini confirmed to ESPN 700 in Salt Lake City that Ochoa has traded with D.C., and people close to the situation said Ochoa has arrived in Washington. United officials declined to comment.

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