Wayne Rooney is leaving MLS, and D.C. United is hoping to make his final season in the league a successful one.
As if the club hadn’t made that obvious enough with the moves made ahead of the league’s transfer deadline, general manager Dave Kasper has now come right out and said it.
With United having landed forwards Ola Kamara and Emmanuel Boateng and added midfielder Felipe, three MLS veterans, over the course of the last week, Kasper says it’s time to focus in on the closing run of the season and a potential tilt at the MLS Cup title.
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"This being Wayne's last year, we want to finish strong and make a deep run," Kasper said to MLSsoccer.com.
"Wayne knows what lies with his future, his teammates know what lies with the future and the group collectively can say 'Listen, we're now in the final stretch, we know who we are, what we have, especially with the new additions. Let's get to work and let's compete for a trophy this year.'"
Rooney’s move back to England at the end of the season caught many people off guard, but he’s not the only transfer target in United’s ranks.
Midfielder Luciano Acosta has been linked with a move away from MLS in recent windows, with PSG having come close to his signature last winter before the deal fell through.
The 25-year-old's contract runs out at the end of the season, and Kasper says the club is prepared to listen to offers for their star playmaker.
"I think there’s flexibility with that," Kasper said via phone. "If he does move in the European window, or any league that has a window that extends beyond ours in Major League Soccer, we will be prepared for it. If he stays, we’ll have him as an option to make a deep run in the playoffs."
Making the playoffs will be the first job for United.
The club currently sits fifth in the Eastern Conference with the top seven teams earning a playoff place.
The capital club is just four points clear of eighth-place Toronto and has been struggling through a poor run of form, picking up just one win in its last seven outings.