How Wayne Rooney’s DC United Appointment Impacts the 2022 MLS Cup Odds

By Ben Morris in Sports
| July 13, 2022 11:55 pm PDT

  • Wayne Rooney has been appointed head coach of Major League Soccer side DC United.
  • The Englishman returns to the club after spending 18 months at Audi Field as a player.
  • DC United sits rock bottom of the overall MLS standings with a record of 5-3-10.

It’s official – Wayne Rooney is the new head coach of DC United.

Two years after leaving the Black-and-Red as a player, the 36-year-old returns to Major League Soccer as a coach. But with only two seasons of English Championship management under his belt, is he ready for the challenge?

England’s all-time leading scorer netted 53 goals in 120 games for his country, in addition to 208 goals in 490 Premier League appearances. But has he got what it takes to drag struggling DC United out of trouble?

Let’s see what the top MLS betting sites make of the situation.

Latest 2022 MLS Cup Odds

Los Angeles FC+320
New York City+800
Philadelphia Union+900
New York Red Bulls+1200
LA Galaxy+1400
Austin FC+1400
DC United+15000

I have decided to look at the top six favorites here, along with DC United. To put things into perspective, Los Angeles FC sits second in the overall standings with more than twice as many points as DC.

As it stands, LAFC (+320) is the bookies’ clear favorite to win the 2022 MLS Cup. Defending champion New York City (+800) is seen as LAFC’s nearest rival, followed by Philadelphia Union (+900), New York Red Bulls (+1200), LA Galaxy (+1400), and Austin FC (+1400).

On the flip side, DC United is priced at +15000 to lift the trophy. Alongside Chicago Fire and Sporting Kansas City, Rooney’s men are viewed as rank outsiders.

So, why is United among the outsiders?

What Has Happened to DC United in 2022?

It wouldn’t be unfair to say that DC United has been one of the worst teams in Major League Soccer this year.

The four-time MLS Cup champions have managed to win just five of their 18 games, registering three draws and ten losses. They also have the joint-worst defensive record in the league, having conceded 39 goals this season.

At present, DC sits rock bottom of the overall standings. In the Eastern Conference, the Washington outfit is eight points shy of the all-important playoff places.

Following a four-game losing streak during the early stages of the campaign, the Black-and-Red parted ways with former coach Hernan Losada on April 21 – leaving Chad Ashton to take the reins on an interim basis.

Almost two months after Losada’s sacking, Rooney was appointed as his successor. What does Rooney offer? It’s time to take a closer look at the man himself.

What Does Rooney Bring to the Table?

Rooney arrives in Washington after spending 18 months as the manager of English side Derby County. After taking over midway through the 2020-21 campaign, he saved the club from relegation.

Last season, however, the Rams were hit with two hefty points deductions due to off-field issues. Having been docked a total of 21 points, Rooney and co. were unable to avoid relegation to the third tier of English soccer.

It is worth noting that Derby would have finished 18 points clear of the relegation zone if it weren’t for the points deductions. Still, there is no hiding the fact that Rooney has a relegation on his résumé.

In truth, Rooney’s managerial record is nothing special. The 36-year-old has overseen 85 games as a coach, registering 24 wins, 22 draws, and 39 losses. That means he has a win ratio of just 28.2%.

Can Rooney Transform DC United’s Season?

With less than half of the regular season remaining, it is unlikely that DC United will make the playoffs this year. Unfortunately for Rooney, he inherits a disjointed team with tons of weaknesses.

The four-time MLS Cup champs have managed to win just one of their previous nine games, suffering five defeats in the process. After losing 4-1 to the Red Bulls, they were thrashed 7-0 by Philadelphia.

That said, Rooney will be confident of turning the tide in Washington. It is not inconceivable that DC United could register a series of positive results and sneak into the top seven.

Whatever happens this season, Rooney will always be remembered as one of the greatest EPL players of all time. But I’m sure that he will also want to gain a reputation as a talented coach.

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