There’s only one United? It turns out that for Wayne Rooney there are two.
After breaking the goalscoring record at Manchester United , he is setting new standards at American side DC United as they chase an unlikely place in the MLS end of season play-offs.
The former England skipper took his goal tally to nine with a double in their latest win as they came from behind to beat Chicago Fire and former teammate Bastian Schweinsteiger.
It keeps the club on course to complete a remarkable turnaround following Rooney’s arrival in July after he called time on his second spell at boyhood club Everton .
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They have lost just three out of the 15 games he has played since making his debut, are just two points off a place in the MLS end of season play offs and have two games in hand on the teams above them.
They were rock bottom of the Eastern Conference when Rooney started but he says: “There is a belief, and I saw this when I first came here.
“That’s grown and we have played better football and got better results.
“The league is a lot better than people think in terms of talent.”
Anyone believing Rooney would leave Goodison for America and a final pay day offering minimum effort, do not know England’s record goalscorer and most capped outfield player.
He signalled his intent early in his DC career when he chased back to deny Orlando City an almost certain goal, and after winning the ball launched a raking cross into the opposition box for teammate Luciano Acosta to score a dramatic winner.
Now he is the established talisman, taking all the corners and set pieces, but also encouraging his less experienced teammates.
Coach Ben Olsen says: “We lacked what we have now, which is a little bit of moxey and a little bit of experience.
“Before we signed him we did research and everyone said the same thing, Wayne goes about his business, he is a great teammate and he’s a winner.
“The one thing that has surprised me more than anything is his ability to get more out of each player in our group just by playing with them.
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“I didn’t think he’d have that much influence on the other players. I knew they’d step their level up, he was going to hold guys accountable but to this extent it is a pleasant surprise.
“Players like him are rare, the ones that fear failure. I have had a few guys who have had that hunger and fear of failure, he’s got it in spades. He’s been an absolute joy to work with.
Off the pitch living in the American capital has allowed Rooney to taste a ‘normal’ life for the first time since he was a teenager bursting onto the scene with Everton.
“Everyday life, it is something I didn’t have as a child growing up from 16 and going into the first team and then playing for England," Rooney said.
“It is nice to still be playing and be able to do that. In terms of my time with my family, it’s a lot more enjoyable.”
He contrasted being able to wander the streets undisturbed near where he lives in Maryland with wife Coleen and their four sons, with not being able to visit the Trafford Centre in Manchester.
“It’s not impossible but I suppose in the last five years I have done it once.
“I think it is just more the hassle. You know people are going to come up… and you are almost expected to do them and give them pictures.
“And then it gets a bit frustrating, especially for my children now they are a bit older. I want to spend time with them, over here it is different to have that time and that chance to spend that bit more with them.
“The school they are in is good, they are enjoying it, a British school.”
But he joked: “They are off this week, it would be nice if they were still in school!”
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