Sunday 23 September 2018

Bob Bradley warns Wayne Rooney not to expect an easy ride in MLS

Rooney’s new team DC United are currently bottom of the Eastern Conference in the MLS.

Bob Bradley had a brief spell in charge of Swansea (Simon Galloway/PA)
Bob Bradley had a brief spell in charge of Swansea (Simon Galloway/PA)

By Phil Blanche, Press Association Sport

Bob Bradley has warned that Wayne Rooney is not guaranteed to be a success in the United States.

Former England captain Rooney has become the latest big-name player to move to Major League Soccer by leaving Everton to join DC United.

But Bradley, the former Swansea and United States manager who is currently in charge of MLS team Los Angeles FC, knows the pitfalls of the Stateside league.

“There’s been many big-name signings in MLS over the years and certainly there are examples of players who have done really well,” Bradley told Press Association Sport.

“David Villa has been a fantastic player since he came to New York City, but as great as Andrea Pirlo and Frank Lampard were, it didn’t go as well for them.

“That’s not to say they weren’t superstars or amazing players, the same with Steven Gerrard as he was not at his earlier level at LA Galaxy.

“Wayne has had an amazing career, but he has to be excited to be here and bring his football week-in and week-out like David Villa.”

DC United are currently bottom of the Eastern Conference in MLS with only two wins in 12 games this season.

Rooney will not be able to play for the Washington DC-based side until the secondary transfer window opens on July 10.

DC United’s first fixture at their new Audi Field home will be against New England Revolution on July 14.

“The league has grown and every team has to figure out what its identity is and what type of football they want to play,” Bradley said.

“What I love about LAFC is that we signed Carlos Vela as our first player and that resonated in the Mexican-American community.

“After that we concentrated on younger players because the feeling was that our football and the way we play had to come first.

“It wasn’t just about going for box-office names, though there are other clubs in the league who have been successful at different times doing that.

“Robbie Keane and David Beckham won Championships at LA Galaxy and it’s great that clubs have different identities.”

Press Association

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport