Rooney, 32, scored the opening goal against ex-Manchester United team-mate Tim Howard but was left bloodied after a clash of heads with Colorado defender Axel Sjoberg in stoppage time.
“Delighted to score my first goal for DC United,” Rooney tweeted after his team won for just the fourth time in 18 matches this season. Two of those victories have come since Rooney made his debut on July 14.
The striker, England’s all-time record goalscorer, said he required five stitches after breaking his nose in the collision with Sjoberg.
Rooney, who played for boyhood club Everton last season following his return from Old Trafford, signed a three-and-a-half year deal with DC United worth $13 million earlier this month.
DC remain 11 points beneath the playoff places with 16 matches remaining and several games in hand over the six teams currently in line for the postseason.
After Rooney’s opener, an angled shot between Howard’s legs, United conceded an 82nd-minute equalizer and appeared destined to again share the points before going ahead on an own-goal.
Coach Ben Olsen called it an important win, not only for the points but also for the confidence his side can take from a gritty performance.
“Psychologically, this is huge for our group,” Olsen said. “The other team scoring a late goal — which has been our Achilles heel all year — to turn that around and get a winner, I think psychologically this was a huge boost for the team right now.”
Rooney, Olsen said, provided much of that lift.
“I don’t think it’s the first time he’s bled in a game,” said Olsen, whose white shirt was streaked with blood after he embraced his star.
“He is a tough guy and I think that he will shake it off. But again, it shows you what this means to him right now. He is in the box, putting his face on the line, understanding that this is a big moment.” DM
In other news...
The South African economy is choking harder than the Proteas. Although to be choking you have to actually be eating and the Proteas seem to be on some sort of juice cleanse-like fast…*
Back to the economy: In the first quarter the GDP dive-bombed by a whopping 3.2%. The sense of futility can paralyse us into inaction and moaning. But it’s times like these that call for effort and action, no matter how small. Yes, South Africa is hurting. Yes the ravaged economy is evident everywhere you look. But you can make a difference, in your own personal way and by supporting independent media like Daily Maverick. We’ve pledged to continue the fight through producing incisive and impactful investigations and analysis, the same way we have done every day for the last decade.
By becoming a Maverick Insider you can help us keep doing what we do, so that you and others who can’t afford it, can keep reading the truth. For whatever amount you choose, you can support DM and it only takes a minute.
*Proteas, you know we love you. We’d just love you more if you won occasionally...
Despite receiving a knighthood from the Queen, Bill Gates cannot use the title "Sir" due to his being American.