WASHINGTON (AP) — Even though Wayne Rooney wasn't in from the start, the English national team's all-time leading scorer was instrumental in finishing things off in D.C. United's first true home game of the season.
Rooney made his Major League Soccer debut Saturday as a second-half substitute and assisted on the third goal in D.C. United's 3-1 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps in the first game played at Audi Field.
Ben Olsen fondly recalls strolling up to RFK Stadium in 1998 as a shaggy-haired rookie out of the University of Virginia. Having opened in 1961, the aging venue on East Capitol Street was already something of a relic. But in those early years of MLS, it represented a crown jewel.
DC United bid farewell to RFK, and forgettable season
D.C. United will cap a forgettable season with one final objective in mind, to say goodbye to RFK Stadium with a win.
The team, which has already been eliminated from the playoffs with 19 losses this season, will be home Sunday for the season finale against the New York Red Bulls.
It will be the United's final game at the historic stadium, their home for the past 22 seasons, before next season's opening of Audi Field. The new soccer-specific venue at Buzzard Point is currently under construction.
Ben Olsen has become well-versed in the art of the midseason shakeup.
Since the longtime midfielder took over as coach midway through the 2010 season, D.C. United has bolstered its starting lineup while parting ways with a key player or two nearly every summer.
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- The Washington TimesD.C. United extend coach Ben Olsen through 2021January 17, 2019
- The Washington TimesD.C. United lose to New York Red Bulls, 1-0July 26, 2018
- The Washington TimesD.C. United beat Whitecaps in Audi Field opener, Rooney debutJuly 15, 2018
- The Washington TimesDarren Mattocks feels he can bring more for UnitedJune 22, 2018