With the U.S. Women’s Team recently winning yet another World Cup title, Americans are more invested in soccer than ever before. And it’s an interesting time to turn towards stateside teams. In a shocking move, one-time Manchester United star Wayne Rooney separated from MLS club D.C. United.
Rooney scored 12 goals in his year with the team, making him an instant star for American fans. Rooney was the key factor in taking D.C. on an unexpected playoff run. It’s a rough moment for his legion of U.S. soccer fans. It’s also the perfect opportunity to take note of the U.K. career that resulted in producing an all-time great soccer player.
Wayne Rooney’s eye-popping career total goals
Rooney’s greatest moment with D.C. United happened to be a massive assist, one of seven during his short time with the team. This is the moment most American soccer fans associate with him. However, his direct scoring ability is the true story of his career.
Rooney’s 208 Premier League goals place him as the second-best career scorer of all time. With Manchester United, he scored 253 goals across all competitions. The Venn diagram of those two records leaves an interesting stat in the middle: 183 Premier League goals scored on a single team. The top of the list on that particular stat.
He wasn’t selfish in his quest towards the record books. Wayne Rooney also tallied the third-best total assists of all Premier League players, at 103.
Thanks to the steady growth of soccer in the U.S., MLS now regularly makes plays for major international talent. Still, for a sport that lacks the domestic attention of the NFL, MLB, or NBA, it can be difficult for Americans to pin down how huge these worldwide stars are.
Wayne Rooney is not the type of talent that comes cheap. His total net worth is currently about $160 million USD. That puts him just outside the top ten wealthiest soccer players on earth. At only 33 years old, with limited injuries, that number is set to rise.
This incredible total makes perfect sense when one considers how much work goes into being a top international talent in this sport. Rooney’s services were contracted by Manchester United, the English national team, D.C. United, and now Derby County.
These are year-round efforts with millions of fans generating levels of revenue capable of supporting the best talent in the sport.
The next steps for Wayne Rooney
After piecing together Rooney’s record, net worth, and overall demand, the future of his career is surprising. Despite the opportunity to hold D.C. United to $2.5 million USD owed for 2.5 further years of service, Rooney left the U.S. to join Derby County in his home country.
There, Rooney takes on a player/coach hybrid role. His new salary is unknown beyond his willingness to take a pay cut in order to return home to the U.K.
His family enjoys the U.S. but deeply misses their old home, family, and life before the MLS came calling. This presented Rooney with a crossroads in his career: continue taking big checks from MLS, or make a career move to best serve his family today.
Thankfully, the D.C. United front office is accommodating. Washington D.C. soccer fans and their team’s front office alike clearly wanted Rooney to stick around. In fact, Rooney himself has nothing but good things to say about MLS and the D.C. United organization.
This marks a rare moment in professional sports: a strong, beloved player deciding to decline potential millions of dollars in order to do what’s best for his family. You have to respect that.