- Wayne Rooney has claimed he is the locker room DJ at MLS club DC United.
- As captain, Rooney gets the pick of the music and says he blasts out tunes by his old English pal Ed Sheeran.
- Rooney also said he would make the “perfect room-mate,” that he can buy British tea unrecognised at American supermarkets, and is looking forward to the upcoming playoffs.
- Rooney leads DC United into Friday’s knockout match against Columbus Crew.
- Read all of Business Insider’s world soccer coverage for the 2018-2019 season right here.
Wayne Rooney recently said he turned down first-class flights because he wanted to be part of the team, but there is one privilege he has accepted with relish.
As captain of DC United, the MLS team he joined in July, he gets to pick the music – and that means one thing; songs from his friend Ed Sheeran, the smash hit performer he once sang a duet with at a pub in Manchester in 2014, a year before they sang “Angels” together at a bar in New York.
“As captain, I put the music on that I want rather than their music all the time and I don’t think it is bad,” Rooney told the BBC. “It is a bit of James Bay, Ed Sheeran, Mumford and Sons, it is quite chilled out really.”
He added that he “would be the perfect room-mate.”
Perhaps looking back to rejecting offers of private hotel rooms and first-class flights, Rooney said: “I think it is important that you are part of the team and you do what your team-mates are doing. I’ve never been someone who wants special treatment, I wouldn’t come in and start demanding things.”
Buying British tea
Rooney has revolutionised life at DC United.
Prior to the Englishman’s arrival, DC United struggled in the lower positions of the Eastern Conference. But within months, Rooney helped lift the team into a coveted play-off place by finishing fourth, with 51 points.
Regardless of his success there so far, he remains a relatively anonymous figure as soccer lacks the widespread popularity of the NFL or the NBA.
This, for Rooney, is a positive as it means he can go to the supermarket unrecognised and buy British tea.
“It is a bit more relaxing for us as a family,” he said. “If you want to go to the supermarket or pop out and get a coffee then it’s quite easy to do. At times in England, it could be a bit difficult but here not that many recognise you, or they are really respectful when they see you, so that is definitely a big difference.”
He added: “The supermarket has an international aisle so there are British ones, you can get your normal tea and stuff. Even the small differences, like a bar of chocolate or a packet of crisps was a bit different, so when you come across one you enjoy it a bit more.”
One of Rooney’s more notable moments in the MLS arrived in August when he fired back at his fiercest critics with a glorious “quarterback”-style pass that led to an incredible last-minute winner in a 3-2 win over Orlando City.
Rooney showed a bulldog’s tenacity and pin-point accuracy, but the 33-year-old played the move down, credited the scorer Luciano Acosta instead, and is hoping for more success in the weeks ahead – when the MLS playoffs get underway.
“I chased the guy back and won the tackle and played a long ball to Luciano Acosta, who scored a great header,” Rooney said. “I think his header actually gets lost – for the size of him, for him to get up so high and score a great header…!
“For the team, it was a big moment to go from drawing the game to winning the game and really giving us that belief that we could go on and make the play-offs.”
Rooney is next in action on Friday, when DC United plays Columbus Crew in a knockout match.