D.C. UNITED HAS EYES ONLY FOR ROO
Rundown begins this Thursday edition with one of the biggest stories in world football right now, that being the breaking news that England superstar Wayne Rooney could be on his way to Major League Soccer with DC United.
With only Paul Arriola in their squad on a Designated Player contract, it’s been no secret that DC United have been in the market for a major name in world football. The last name to be linked was Mario Balotelli, so you can imagine how pleased Rundown would be to see England’s Rooney line up for DC.
Steven Goff in The Washington Post has reported that DC are in what are described as “serious talks” for the former Manchester United serial trophy winner. Rooney returned to Everton for the 2017/18 season and has a year left on his current contract with the Toffees but his venture back to Goodison Park has been anything but a success. Under first Ronald Koeman and then Sam Allardyce, Rooney has been on the periphery.
Rooney is a forward, doing his best work at the top of the field with willing runners around him, the types of players missing from Everton’s squad. His most successful run came under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, where he won five Premier League titles, a Champions League crown, a Europa League title, an FA Cup and a Club World Cup. He is the all-time leading scorer for both Manchester United and England.
D.C. United currently sit in last place in the Eastern Conference but the team will be moving into a brand-new stadium, Audi Field, on July 14th. Rundown would be surprised not to see Wayne Rooney presented in the first game in Audi Field.
VIEIRA COURTED BY EVERTON
Staying with the blue half of Merseyside, Metro.co.uk is reporting that Everton are considering New York City FC’s head coach Patrick Vieira as successor to their current boss Sam Allardyce.
Allardyce arrived in November and steered Everton clear of relegation trouble, putting the team on course to finish in the top half of the Premier League table. Despite meeting initial targets, his direct and pragmatic style of play has not endeared him to the Goodison faithful, which includes majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri according to Metro’s James Goldman.
Goldman furthers his comments, alleging that Moshiri, who previously held a significant stake in Arsenal until 2016, is a keen admirer of Vieira’s and intends to appoint a young, dynamic coach in the close season. Vieira has transformed NYCFC’s fortunes since his arrival ahead of the 2016 season, leading the club to back-to-back MLS Cup Playoffs appearances and a strong start to the current campaign. Despite being part of the City Football Group, it’s said that Vieira would receive their blessing if interested in the Everton job.
ANOTHER JUVENTUS PLAYER ON MLS RADAR
It seems as though Juventus players are constantly being linked with a move stateside, Rundown notes that previously Sami Khedira and Claudio Marchisio has been featured, now its Stephan Lichtsteiner’s turn.
Eurosport’s Italian site reports that after Lichtsteiner announced that he will be departing the Old Lady at the end of the season. Lichtsteiner is now 34 and has been at Juventus since 2011. He’s won six consecutive Serie A titles and is on track for a seventh this season. He’s won three Coppa Italias at the Turin club and has helped the team reach two Champions League finals. Prior to that, he played for Lazio, where he won another Coppa Italia, at French club Lille and in his native Switzerland for Grasshopper.
Lichtsteiner is also current captain of Switzerland, and is expected to lead his country at the World Cup this summer in Russia.
ENNER VALENCIA LEAVING TIGRES FOR MLS OR CHINA
Ecuadorian international striker Enner Valencia is set to leave Tigres UANL and move to either MLS or China, according to a report from Mexican outlet Azteca Deportes. The 28 year-old earned Liga MX Best XI honours in last year’s Apertura season to help Tigres win the league championship but has seen his role diminish during this year’s Clausura campaign, where Los Felinos crashed out in the first round of the playoffs at the hands of Santos Laguna and fall to Toronto FC in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League.
That’s underachievement by Tigres’ high standards and it appears to have prompted a significant overhaul of the Mexican powerhouse’s roster in the offseason ahead.
“We did not fulfill any of our goals, and that makes us reflect on what points are wrong, to be able to change, and we will start working,” said sporting director Miguel Angel Garza this week. “More than investments, we have to see where we are failing, at what point we failed this season and see what the team needs. Our job starting today is to see how we are going to restructure the team.”
Any Other Business…
Belgium’s Club Brugge are interested in Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono… Orlando City have won six straight MLS games to amass the Lions’ longest winning streak since they entered Major League Soccer in 2015.
Thank you for reading the MLS Rundown, a twice-weekly column focused on news, rumours and transfers. If you would like to connect with the writer, please do so on twitter @CharlieTangoFM