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17th Jul 2023

Wayne Rooney admits to using Football Manager to sign players at D.C United

Callum Boyle

Wayne Rooney

A manager of culture

Wayne Rooney has admitted that he has been using Football Manager in order to find and sign players for D.C. United.

Rooney took charge of the club where he spent two years at as a player at the end of the 2021/2022 season following his decision to leave Derby County by mutual consent.

D.C. were bottom of the table when Rooney took charge of his first game towards the end of last season but have improved in his first full campaign in charge, sitting ninth in the MLS Eastern Conference.

As part of his arrival, the former Manchester United and England has signed 15 players, including Christian Benteke, Mateusz Klich and Lewis O’Brien, who joined on loan from Nottingham Forest.

In order to complete his overhaul, Rooney revealed in The Times that the popular video game Football Manager had been a key scouting tool when it came to recruitment.

“A lot of the market is South America and we’ve done a deal with Football Manager [the computer game] where we give them some advertising and they give us access to the scouts — 11 or 12 of them — they use in different places across the world to help them create the game. Jose Mourinho has done something similar in the past,” he explained.

The D.C boss is also preparing to take charge of the MLS All Stars against Arsenal on Thursday while also explaining the concept of the ‘discovery list’.

Every team in the league can have seven players on their list meaning that any other club who sign the player have to pay a sum to the club who put the name on the list.

He added: “We could put Haaland on our ‘Discovery List’ and it means that if he ever came to the MLS but let’s say wanted to play for one of the LA teams and not us, the LA team would have to pay Man City – and us. Because we’ve ‘discovered’ him! It’s crazy.

“But if you’re clever, you can make money. Last year when Jesse Lingard signed for a year with [Nottingham] Forest we put him on our Discovery List because you thought there’s every chance that after a year at Forest he’ll want to come to the US and that would mean we could sign him or get money for him.”

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