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22nd Jul 2018

Wayne Rooney had something of a shocker in first start for D.C. United

Things can only get better

Darragh Murphy

To be fair, Wayne Rooney has not had a full preseason to get his match fitness up to scratch.

Rooney definitely looked like he was lacking his usual sharpness when he made his first start for new club D.C. United on Saturday night.

Having come off the bench for his debut last weekend, he was given a starting place against Atlanta United this time around but even he would admit that he struggled.

Rooney’s new side fell to a 3-1 defeat to the hosts, leaving D.C. United with just 14 points from 16 games this season, and the former Manchester United and Everton forward was directly to blame for Atlanta’s equaliser.

After Zoltan Stieber opened the scoring for the visitors, three unanswered goals arrived for Atlanta and the first saw Rooney play an aimless ball into midfield, where it was snatched upon by an opposition player and the ball was soon in the back of the D.C. net.

The ex-England international had the opportunity to make up for his error with a free-kick from the edge of the box just moments later but his effort was smacked into the wall and the less said about the follow-up shot, the better.

We got a glimpse of Rooney’s short temper after half-time when he lashed out at defender Michael Parkhurst, which earned him a booking.

It was clear for all watching that it wasn’t going to be Rooney’s day and he was hauled off with 25 minutes remaining.

At least things can only get better for the 32-year-old…