Wayne Rooney says Everton never reached out about coaching job


PALM DESERT, Calif. – Everton’s hiring of Sean Dyche as coach ended speculation on Monday that the English Premier League club could target DC Coach Wayne Rooney, who has deep ties to the Toffees.

Rooney’s name has been bandied about in English circles regularly before and after Frank Lampard in the last week, and Rooney has said he wants to coach in the Premier League one day. On Monday, however, he said he was never approached by Everton.

“It’s a supporting club and I grew up loving it,” he said. “They are going through the most difficult period in the history of the club, and they felt they had to change. Sean Dyche is very experienced. He was always going to be a skilled manager.”

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Dyche, who was fired by Burnley last spring after a 10-year tenure, has signed a 2½-year deal with Verton, who are 19th in the 20-team league and in danger of relegation for the first time since 1954.

Rooney joined Everton’s youth academy at 9 and signed a contract at 16. He played two seasons with the first team before moving to Manchester United, where he reached superstardom, in 2017. He was signed by DC in 2017. as a player for 1½ seasons.

Rooney’s coaching contract with DC United is guaranteed only this season — he took the job last summer — and includes a club option for 2024.

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“It was right that I felt,” he said of the shortness of time. “There were questions that I wanted to know the answers from the owners: what players could we bring and could we bring to the team that I wanted to build?”

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Asked if he got what he wanted this offseason, Rooney said: “You always want more. I’m glad we brought in the players. I am confident that we will have a good time, hopefully we will have one or two players in sight [the transfer window closes this spring]. If not, we can see where we are in the middle of the season when the summer window opens.

He added, “We’re still looking, but with how the budget works, we’re looking for the right player.”

Klich’s imminent arrival

Mateusz Klich, Britain’s prize-winning winter signing from Premier League club Leeds, has agreed to receive his visa and join the club this week, Rooney said.

Klich striker, signed on February 12 and met his new partners in Washington, but needed to return to Europe as the visual process was developed.

Klich is set to make his preseason debut next Monday against MLS Cup contender Los Angeles FC at the Coachella Valley Invitational in Indio, Calif., Rooney said. Rooney added that Klich has continued to work with Leeds’ fitness coach while he waits for the resolution of the visual process.

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Plans for the Coachella match

The British Coachella tournament will open on Wednesday with a 90-minute match against Charlotte FC and a 45-minute session against Vancouver.

Rooney said he would play the full 75 minutes against Charlotte, then added the substitutes, who would later play the full 45 against the Whitecaps.

Several players are being evaluated, including four center backs: Steven Birnbaum (illness), Derrick Williams (thigh), Donovan Pines (recovered from hernia surgery) and Brendan Hines-Ike (foot surgery). Williams, a projected starter acquired by the Los Angeles Galaxy in the offseason, told Rooney in a few weeks.

On Wednesday, Matai Akinmboni, 16, will partner in central defense with Andy Najar, right back and winger.

Najar, who is battling Brazilian newcomer Ruan for the starting right back job, “was brilliant in the preseason,” Rooney said.

Midfielder Victor Palsson, who could play at center back, may return a week from a hamstring injury.

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Alex Bono, one of three new goaltenders on the roster, is expected to match Charlotte, Rooney said. Tyler Miller – who, like Bono, signed a free agent contract this winter – started a 3-2 loss to the Galaxy last week in Carson, Calif.

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Louis Zamudio, who played for the second-tier Loudoun Britons last year, starts against Vancouver.

“I want everyone to have the amount of time in the first two or three games to see them properly and then make a decision about who starts the season opening Feb. 25. against Toronto FC, Rooney said. “They all trained really well. They push each other, so that’s what I wanted.

Midfielder Ravel Morrison, who followed Rooney last summer from Derby County to United, could be on the way out.

Rooney told the club. “He’s trained well, but I know there are some conversations about what we’re doing in the future.” …

Former Vancouver coach Carl Robinson is close to signing a contract to join the assistant staff, Rooney said.

“I felt it was important that we had another coach in who knows the league, and is obviously experienced as a head coach,” Rooney said. I talked to him a few times this winter, and I felt like he was a great vision. …

Midfielder Alex Nagy, a draft pick last winter who signed with Loudoun United this month, is training with the first team and could earn an MLS contract. …

Midfielder Aidan Rocha, a second-round pick out of Georgetown, remains in camp. …

Ignacio “Nacho” Alem, a 16-year-old striker from the youth academy, is also in camp and could become a domestic target this year.


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