Wayne Rooney says Everton have not approached him about the coaching job
“It is the club I grew up supporting and loving,” he said. “They are going through a very difficult period in the club’s history and they felt a change was necessary. Sean Dyche is very experienced. He has always been an experienced manager.”
Daichi, who was sacked by Burnley last spring after 10 years, signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with Everton, who are 19th in the 20-team league and at risk of relegation for the first time since 1954.
Rooney joined Everton’s youth academy at the age of nine and signed a professional contract at the age of 16. He played two seasons with the first team before moving to Manchester United, where he reached stardom, then returned to Everton in 2017. A year later, he signed with D.C. United as a player for 1 seasons.
Rooney’s coaching contract with D.C. United is only guaranteed through this MLS season – he took over last summer – and includes a club option for 2024.
“It was what felt right,” he said of the short-term deal. “There were questions I wanted to know the answers from the owners: What players can we bring in and make sure I get what I want to build the team?”
When asked if he had gotten what he wanted this season, Rooney said, “You always want more. The players we’ve brought in, I’m happy. I’m confident we’ll have a good season and I hope we get a player or two before that.” [transfer] Window [closes this spring]. If not, we could see where we’re at in the middle of the season” when the summer window opens.
He added, “We’re still looking, but with the budget the way it works, we’re looking for the right player in the right place.”
Cliche’s arrival is imminent
And Rooney said Matthews Klitsch, United’s winter signing from Premier League club Leeds, is set to receive his work visa and join the club this week.
Clich, a striker, signed for United on January 12 and met his new team-mates in Washington, but needed to return to Europe as visa formalities finished.
Rooney said Clich is set to make his preseason debut next Monday against MLS Cup champions Los Angeles FC at the Coachella Valley Invitational in Indio, California.
Rooney added that Clich continued to work with fitness trainers in Leeds while he waited for the visa formalities to be resolved.
Coachella game plans
United will open Wednesday’s Coachella tournament with a 90-minute game against Charlotte FC and a 45-minute game against Vancouver Whitecaps.
Rooney said he would play several starting players for 75 minutes against Charlotte, and then enter the reserves, who would then play the full 45 against the Whitecaps.
Several players are unavailable, including four defenders: Stephen Birnbaum (illness), Derrick Williams (groin), Donovan Baines (recovering from hernia surgery), and Brendan Hines-Ake (foot surgery). Rooney said Williams, a prospective rookie acquired from the LA Galaxy in the offseason, will be out for a few weeks.
On Wednesday, Maathai Akinmboni, 16, will partner at centre-back with Andy Najjar, right-back and winger.
Carpenter, who is battling Brazilian newcomer Rouen for the right-back spot, has been “fantastic in pre-season”, said Rooney.
Midfielder Viktor Palson, who could play in the centre-back position, is a week away from returning from a hamstring injury.
The goalkeeper’s position is unstable
Rooney said Alex Bono, one of the three new goaltenders on the roster, is slated to start against Charlotte. Tyler Miller – who like Bono signed a free agent contract with United this winter – started in the 3-2 defeat by the Los Angeles Galaxy last week in Carson, California.
Luis Zamudio, who played for Second Division side Loudon United last year, is set to start against Vancouver.
“I want them all to have a good time in the first two or three games, so I can see them properly and then decide” on who starts the season opener on February 25 against Toronto FC, Rooney said. “They’ve all trained really well. They push each other, so that’s what I wanted.”
Midfielder Ravel Morrison, who followed Rooney to United from Derby County last summer, may be on his way out.
“He’s talking to the club,” said Rooney. “He’s been training really well, but I know there are some conversations about what we’re going to do in the future.” …
Rooney said former Vancouver coach Carl Robinson was close to signing a contract to join the team as an assistant.
“I felt it was important to have another coach who knows the league and who obviously has experience as a head coach,” Rooney said. “I’ve spoken to him a few times this winter, and it just felt so right.” …
Midfielder Alex Nagy, a player picked last winter who signed for Loudon United this month, is training with the first team and could be offered an MLS contract. …
Georgetown quarterback Aidan Rocha is still in camp. …
Ignacio “Nacho” Alem, a 16-year-old striker from the youth academy, is also in camp and could become a local signing target this year.