Rooney proud of DC spirit despite MLS play-off exit

Lucas Janson

Lucas Janson The Canadian Press

Wayne Rooney hailed the performance of DC United this season despite their MLS play-off exit to Columbus Crew on Thursday.

The former Manchester United and England star arrived in July and was the catalyst for a stunning transformation in United fortunes, leading them from the bottom of the Eastern Conference to playoff contenders.

While United finished 20 points adrift of the first place Red Bulls in the final regular season standings, there is little doubt that Rooney and his teammates are genuine contenders in the postseason.

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Steffen kept the Crew in the match with a terrific late save on Luciano Acosta, and Higuain put the visitors ahead six minutes into the additional half-hour with a textbook glancing header inside Hamid's post.

"Acosta has taken his game to a different level with the addition of Wayne Rooney - very dynamic, very good off the dribble". Meanwhile, Crew SC boasted the League's top road defense, statistically, for much of the season before ending the year with the fourth-fewest goals conceded on the road with 24. "Because, really, we had no right to the make the playoffs". I'm extremely proud of them for doing it.

Nine minutes later Higuain made it 1-1, slotting the ball home after Junior Moreno and Joseph Mora failed to clear. It was his first goal in more than two years.

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The second and final day in the knockout round of the Audi 2018 MLS Cup playoffs took place last night as four teams looked to try and book their places in the Conference semi finals.

Defender of the Year finalists were Americans Aaron Long of the New York Red Bulls, Chad Marshall of the Seattle Sounders and Michael Parkhurst of Atlanta United.

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