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Rooney nets first career MLS hat trick
Wayne Rooney scored his first career MLS hat trick this weekend in leading D.C. United to a 5-0 victory over a Real Salt Lake squad that finished Saturday night’s match with just nine players. DC United is talented enough to beat most teams 11 v 11 so playing with a two-man advantage proved to be quite a disadvantage for RSL.
While RSL were substantially impeded after halftime by their two red cards, the match remained D.C.’s third consecutive defensive clean sheet to open the season.
Rooney has scored in bunches since joining D.C. in the middle of last season. His first MLS hat trick marked his fifth multiple-goal game in 23 league
Rooney converted a penalty kick in the 34th minute and then scored from close range 7 minutes later. After the visitors received the first of their two red cards, the former Manchester United star added his third goal to complete the hat trick.
“To score a hat trick is always great,” said Rooney in the Washington Post. “I am really pleased with getting the three goals and I am pleased for the team. It was a great victory for us.”
Rooney, 33, proved his value over a partial season last year and brings incredible leadership, experience and the “it” factor to not only DC United but MLS. If he can stay healthy and interested, DC United could be the team to beat this year.
Can Wayne Rooney lead DC United to the MLS Cup?
MLS Notebook: Some highlights from a busy weekend on the pitch
The absence of Diego Chara for Portland in its loss to FC Cincinnati was certainly a factor. Chara was suspended after receiving a red card last week vs. LAFC. Since 2016, the Timbers are 0-6-13 without the Colombian midfielder. Comparatively, they have a 45-22-27 record with Chara in the XI across the same span.
Atlanta’s big picture from Ian Quillen: “It looked better for a stretch after Ezequiel Barco’s introduction, but the final third is still a major struggle for Atlanta, whose first effort on target Sunday came in the 64th minute. Perhaps some time off will help. Having played six matches in 18 days between domestic and continental competition, those Five Stripes not being called into international duty have 13 days to wait for their next league fixture.”
They must have good memories north of the boarder. After winning the MLS Cup in 2017, Toronto FC opened the 2018 season with a 1-4 record. Things are much different this season. Toronto FC knocked off the New England Revolution 3-2 for their second win of the young season. TFC have won back-to-back league games – something they only accomplished once last season.
It didn’t start out well but it certainly ended well for The New York Red Bulls, who rallied from an early deficit to defeat the San Jose Earthquakes 4-1 on Saturday at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls played an inspired second half and were rewarded with their first win of the year. The Quakes squandered their best chance for all three points when they didn’t put away another of their first-half chances.
The LA Galaxy are starting to take off. They put in their best performance of the young season with a 3-2 win over Minnesota United at Dignity Health Sports Park. Even without Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the second straight game, the Galaxy came away with plenty of positives especially in the midfield. New head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto seems to be creating a cohesive bunch on the pitch. HIGHLIGHTS BELOW FROM FOX SOCCER
What stands out most from this past weekend’s MLS games?
Making the right call in soccer isn’t always a slam dunk – even on replay
Penalty? Offside? Red Card? 🤔
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 18, 2019
What decision would you make if you were the referee?
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Main photo courtesy Planet Football