Wayne Rooney arrives at Dulles Airport - AFP
Associated Press

Wayne Rooney says lifestyle played a major part in his decision to join DC United over some of the MLS’s more successful franchises.

The former England captain signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with the Eastern Conference strugglers, who sit bottom with two wins from 12 games.

While Rooney says there is plenty of potential in the DC United squad, he revealed his preference for living in a city like Washington was a big factor.

“They’re in a difficult position at the bottom of the league but I watched the games over the last few weeks and see a lot of potential in the team,” said Rooney.

“Their young players have a lot of talent but maybe they just need that bit of guidance on the pitch, which I believe I can try and help them with. And I believe my own qualities can help the team.

“Overall it was the group of players, manager and owners which excited me. I came over a few weeks ago and had a look around the city. It’s very nice which I could see myself living in.

“There are other cities which are a bit more hectic in terms of lifestyle, like LA and New York, which I didn’t believe would suit me. I felt this was the right place to live.”

Rooney went to a beer garden in Washington to watch England’s World Cup defeat to Belgium, which set up a last-16 date with Colombia on Tuesday, and he has been impressed by Gareth Southgate’s side.

“They’re playing well,” said Rooney. “They’ll be confident, certainly after the first two games which they won.

“They have a tricky game against Colombia coming up but hopefully the boys can do well.

“It’s an exciting World Cup. Lots of goals scored with some upsets, obviously Germany going out which I don’t think anyone expected.

“England have started well.”

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