After missing out on the playoffs for the second consecutive season, DC United’s Wayne Rooney has decided to step down as head coach.

His 15-month reign saw the struggling MLS team improve but fall short of the playoffs.

The decision to split ways was made public after Saturday’s 2-0 victory against New York City FC at Audi Field. With goals from Mateusz Klich and Chris Durkin on each side of halftime, the home team easily defeated the New York outfit.

Once the regular season was through, they found themselves in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, having been eliminated from playoff contention by other teams’ results.

DC United have now gone four seasons without making the playoffs, matching a club record established from 2008-2011.

What did DC United say?

“We have spoken with Wayne and agreed it is best for us to part ways at this time. This decision creates the avenue for our next General Manager to have the full opportunity to impart a new philosophy and structure onto our sporting operations, which begins with the critical identification of a Head Coach who will best align with this.

“We are grateful to Wayne Rooney for all he has done for our club and for soccer in the Nation’s Capital, first as a D.C. United player and captain and most recently as our coach. He remains an important part of the D.C. United family and a valued and cherished friend”, the club’s CEO, Jason Levien remarked via their official website.

What did Wayne Rooney say?

Rooney played in Washington for 18 months and returned to the team in July 2022 as the head coach. In 2023, under his direction, the Audi Field side improved to a 10-10-14 record.

The Englishman has now informed reporters that he feels the time is now appropriate for a change: “It’s the right time. I’ve done everything I can to get this club into the playoffs. It’s not a single thing that’s happened. It’s about timing.”

Photo credit: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire