You never quite know what is waiting around the next corner in Major League Soccer, and while that can sometimes be a good thing, it can sometimes serve as a pretty big knock to the appeal and credibility of the league.
As reported by the man himself on Twitter and BBC, one of those surprises has come in the form of DC United star Wayne Rooney agreeing to return to English football in a player-coach role with Derby County. The Rams have struck gold by luring the former Manchester United star back to the British Isles, in a role that many probably could’ve have imagined him being in just a few short months ago – if not weeks or days.
The 33 year old is set to complete his transition back over into the English game in January after agreeing to an 18-month deal, where he will follow in the footsteps of Frank Lampard by attempting to guide Derby back into the Premier League – where a lot of fun possibilities await him.
Rooney himself decided to comment on the move which, to be blunt, seems to have come out of absolutely nowhere.
“The opportunity to come back here and play and take the next transition in my career was one factor,” said Rooney.
“I will keep playing until my body says I can’t any more. I feel good.”
“We’ve got four young boys and certainly for my oldest it is a crucial time in his schooling,” said Rooney. “[But] it wasn’t just about coming home.
“I had a decision to make and the decision to come and play here in England and develop as a coach with [Derby manager] Phillip Cocu was too good to turn down.
Here comes Wazza
“Firstly, I’m a player and feel I have a lot of quality to bring to the squad. But, secondly, I want to learn from Phillip and his staff to gain experience for when I take the next step.”
It seems as if there’s a possibility that his family was the biggest factor behind his decision, which doesn’t exactly shine the best of lights on what it’s like to be living in the United States right now. Then again, perhaps we’re reading too much into it, because Wayne really does seem to have enjoyed his time in the MLS with DC United.
A lot of fans will be hoping that he can make one final push for the MLS Cup crown before the season comes to an end, but one way or another, it kind of feels like his passion for the MLS has just died off a little bit.
We’ll know more about that in the coming weeks and months as he prepares to say goodbye to the place that, in many ways, gave him a second chance. He has always been destined for great things in this game, but the MLS allowed him to recharge his batteries and re-discover the abilities that once made him one of the best players in world football.