WASHINGTON, United States, Aug 15 – With Major League soccer still buzzing over Wayne Rooney’s late-game exploits in DC United’s Sunday win over Orlando, the former England star said Tuesday he’s not in North America on holiday.
“I understand people might get frustrated when they see players coming over maybe a bit later in their career, but that’s for me to show with performances that I’m not here just to be on holiday,” Rooney, 32, told the Washington Post.
“I’m here to work, and I’ll have plenty of time when I finish playing to enjoy myself and have holidays.”
Rooney’s work ethic was on full display on Sunday, after Orlando broke out following a United corner in the fifth minute of stoppage time in a game that looked set to finish 2-2
With United goalkeeper David Ousted stranded upfield, Orlando’s Will Johnson advanced past halfway with an empty net ahead of him.
Rooney raced half the length of the field to win the ball, then launched a long ball into the area met by Luciano Acosta, who nodded home the game winner in the fifth minute of injury time.
“Seeing a player like Wayne make that effort and run all the way back and make that tackle, put in that work – it motivates all of us, especially with the euphoria of the game,” Acosta said.
Rooney, England and Manchester United’s all-time record goalscorer, confirmed his move to MLS in June after a season with Everton in the Premier League.
His exploits on Sunday went some way toward keeping DC United’s slim MLS Cup playoff hopes alive.
Although they remain rooted to the foot of the standings with 21 points from 20 games, they have several games in hand over the teams above them and aren’t yet out of the running.