MLS: Bring on Benteke… and soon! Wayne Rooney’s DC United fails to score in third straight game


Bring on Benteke… and soon! Wayne Rooney’s DC United fails to score in its third straight game as a 1-0 defeat by New England Revolution leaves it stranded seven points adrift at the bottom of the Eastern Conference

  • DC United lost its second game since Wayne Rooney took over as the coach
  • Rooney called on his team to have smarter game management to improve
  • Next up, DC faces LAFC and Gareth Bale in a Tuesday night encounter  

Wayne Rooney’s DC United was beaten 1-0 by New England Revolution on Saturday night, leaving it stranded seven points adrift at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.

DC fell to defeat after Carles Gil, the former Aston Villa midfielder, scored in just the 18th minute at the Gillette Stadium to send Rooney to his second loss since returning to Washington as coach.

But – whisper it quietly – for a team in such a bad spot, there might be signs of life and reasons for encouragement in Rooney’s team moving forward.

Wayne Rooney’s DC United was beaten 1-0 by New England Revolution on Saturday

The defeat leaves Rooney's side seven points adrift in last place in the Eastern Conference

The defeat leaves Rooney’s side seven points adrift in last place in the Eastern Conference

Most notably, Christian Benteke could well be on the roster by the time DC plays next Saturday on August 20, against Philadelphia Union, as long as his visa is approved. The Belgium striker can’t get there quickly enough.

DC has scored twice in four games since Rooney officially took over, and both were in his first game when it beat Orland City. Washington hasn’t scored since, in three matches. 

On Saturday, it was in part due to top scorer Taxi Fountas being a substitute again. Last week there were fears on a groin issue and now, Rooney left him on the bench after he played in the All-Stars game midweek.

His return to full fitness alongside Benteke’s impending arrival will be key to Rooney overseeing an upturn in his team.

Furthermore, new signing Victor Palsson, a defensive midfielder, played 90 minutes on his DC debut. He signed at the end of July on a free transfer from German side Schalke and produced a promising performance.

He nearly scored – his 60th minute shot brought a good save from Revolution keeper Djordje Petrovic and was the closest DC came to an equalizer. 

‘It’s not going to be an overnight thing,’ Rooney said after the game. ‘I know that. 

‘It will take a little bit of time, but we need to be smarter, the game management needs to be better.

‘I’m disappointed in the result but it’s a fair result, in the end.’

Rooney said after the match that DC needs to have smarter game management to improve

Rooney said after the match that DC needs to have smarter game management to improve 

But in the meantime, it won’t get much easier for Rooney and a DC side searching for its confidence.

It’s LAFC next, the Western Conference leaders, on Tuesday night. It sees Rooney go up against Gareth Bale, Giorgio Chiellini and Carlos Vela. 

Perhaps ominously for DC, Bale and Chiellini were both rested from the team’s fixture against Charlotte on Saturday, which it won 5-0.

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