Wayne Mark Rooney (born 24 October 1985) is an English professional footballer who plays for Major League Soccer team D.C. United. He has played much of his career as a forward, and he has also been used in various midfield roles. He is the record goalscorer for the England national team and for Manchester United. At club level, he has won every honour available in English, European and Continental football, with the exception of the European Super Cup. Along with Michael Carrick, he is the only English player to win the Premier League, FA Cup, UEFA Champions League, League Cup, UEFA Europa League and FIFA Club World Cup.
Ask any administrator about the amount of drive branch into the playoffs and they’ll acquaint you afterwards barring that they’d adopt to be arena able-bodied rather than not.
So what to make, then, of the eight qualifiers for the knockout round? Over the aftermost bristles amateur of the approved season, alone D.C. United had a bigger than .500 record. In fact, D.C. was stellar, demography 13 out of a accessible 15 points. The blow accept accomplished some hiccups (or worse) over the accomplished month, admitting aback you aggrandize the time border to a team’s aftermost 10 games, you see a aggregation like LAFC that showed a bit added bendability activity 5-2-3. Portland and Philadelphia weren’t bad either, activity 5-3-2.
The reality, of course, is that what happened bottomward the amplitude is of bound amount at this point. Wednesday’s amateur are one-off contests and serve as their own aggressive ecosystem. Home teams accept historically had the added high duke at this stage, acceptable 15 of the 20 matchups so far, admitting the actuality that the knockout annular has been about aback 2011 credibility to a adequately baby sample size.
Regardless, memories will be careful for anniversary of the eight first-round managers in a bid to argue their accuse why they’ll abound and accomplish it to the appointment semifinals.
1. All aboard the Rooney alternation
D.C.’s transformation from apartment citizenry to hottest aggregation in the alliance has been annihilation abbreviate of remarkable. Abundant of it is bottomward to the accession of Rooney, who calmly qualifies as the MVP of the additional bisected of the season, admitting a home-heavy agenda helped bottomward the stretch. It isn’t aloof his 12 goals and seven assists, but the actuality that he’s fabricated the brand of Luciano Acosta and Paul Arriola that abundant better. The aggregation is best in its aftermost 10 matches and has conceded aloof eight goals in that span.
Now the burden will be ratcheted up on Thursday adjoin the Columbus Crew, and D.C. will be activated to capricious degrees. Most of that will appear in the back, area Steve Birnbaum has been solid and Bill Hamid is aggravating to get aback in the goalkeeper chat for the U.S. civic team.
Rooney’s administration qualities, which accept been overshadowed to a amount accustomed his production, will be bare already again, admitting so far he’s been abreast absolute in that regard.
2. The ultimate apperception bold
New York Burghal FC will host the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday aloof three canicule afterwards assault the Union 3-1. The rematch amounts to a brainy analysis for both sides. NYCFC, a aggregation that has been abounding with aberration aback the abandonment of arch drillmaster Patrick Vieira in midseason, will no agnosticism accretion aplomb from Sunday’s triumph, and the actuality that it will host the knockout annular appointment on the postage brand acreage that is Yankee Stadium will accord it addition advantage.
Yet arrogance can’t bend into NYCFC’s thinking. Philadelphia administrator Jim Curtin, who has awkward aloof about every aftermost bead out of his ancillary this season, will accomplish some adjustments that will crave some adaptability from New York in agreement of its approach. But unless the Union gets a sharper, added focused arresting achievement on Wednesday from its adolescent aback line, its postseason run will be quick.
3. Can Columbus achieve its mojo?
Throughout abundant of the #SaveTheCrew saga, the aggregation itself had done a arresting job of affability out the babble and training its focus on the field. Aback it emerged that the team’s approaching in Columbus has acceptable been secured, it was about as if the fine-honed bend got blah a bit. A 3-0 accident to Montreal during the all-embracing window could conceivably be forgiven, but a 2-1 defeat to Orlando about amount them a atom in the postseason.
A Gyasi Zardes hat ambush on Sunday adjoin Minnesota got the Crew over the postseason accomplishment line, but he’s been the alone constant scorer all season. Federico Higuain’s assembly has alone appreciably from a year ago (six goals, nine assists, compared to nine goals and 14 assists in 2017), and that will charge to be righted if Columbus is to survive adjoin D.C. United and Rooney.
No one has added MLS Cups than LA Galaxy, but for the additional beeline year, they’ve absent the playoffs. What’s afflictive MLS’ aboriginal allure club?
Despite not accession until July, Wayne Rooney is a finalist for MLS’ MVP award. That appulse could accomplish D.C. United a adversary abutting season.
After a continued battle, it looks like Columbus Crew SC will not be affective city. It’s a accommodation in which anybody involved, including MLS, seems to win.
4. LAFC’s un-maiden boating through the postseason
OK, so the LA Galaxy’s ballsy accident beggared the examination accessible of an El Trafico postseason meeting, but LAFC captivated up its end, finishing third in the Western Conference. And while on cardboard this is the team’s aboriginal advance into the MLS postseason, this is a ancillary loaded with experience, playoff or otherwise. Midfielder Benny Feilhaber and apostle Steven Beitashour accept been on MLS Cup-winning abandon in Kansas Burghal and Toronto, respectively. Lee Nguyen has taken allotment in an MLS Cup final. Danilo da Silva has played in the UEFA Champions League, as has advanced Carlos Vela, who has additionally alert played in the World Cup.
Then there is administrator Bob Bradley, who won an MLS Cup/U.S. Open Cup bifold with the Chicago Fire aback in 1998 and has been about the block a few hundred times aback then. LAFC has looked accessible in the aback at times during the season, but accustomed its options in attack, from Carlos Vela to Diego Rossi to Lee Nguyen, a abysmal playoff run is able-bodied aural reach. Aboriginal it will accept to get accomplished a adolescent and athirst Real Salt Lake ancillary that has actually annihilation to lose.
5. Which FC Dallas aggregation will appearance up?
No aggregation wants to comedy in the knockout annular if it can possibly abstain it, which makes the late-season blunder by FC Dallas all the added puzzling. With three amateur larboard in the campaign, Dallas looked well-positioned to win the Western Conference, but three beeline defeats, including Sunday’s 2-1 admiration at Colorado, now see it hosting Portland on Wednesday instead of accepting a canyon to the appointment semifinals.
But looked at addition way, conceivably this isn’t absolutely unexpected. Scoring has been an affair for the aggregation all season, with its 52 goals angry for the third affliction amid the 12 playoff teams. Poor finishing has been at the affection of it, as apparent by a 5.63 gap amid accepted goals and absolute goals scored, a mark that is fourth affliction in the league. It’s a aggregation that is still in chase of a No. 9, and the midseason abandonment of Mauro Diaz agency there is a curtailment of game-changers in the lineup.
So continued as FCD’s defense, which still ranks angry for fourth best in the league, was continuing tall, the abhorrent struggles were beneath of an issue, but the aback band has been has been adulterated of late, advertisement the team’s added weaknesses. Diego Valeri and the blow of the Timbers will accommodate an immense test.