Inter Miami boss Phil Neville believes former Manchester United and England team-mate Wayne Rooney will thrive in his new role in charge of D.C. United, as the former gears up to welcome Philadelphia Union in MLS this week.

The former Three Lions great has joined his compatriot up the East Coast, having left Derby County earlier this summer following a lengthy period of uncertainty at the lower-tier English club, and returns to the MLS outfit where he spent part of his latter playing days.

Miami and D.C. will not play until September now, but Neville is more than happy to welcome Rooney to the continent’s top league – and believes he will be able to help reverse his former club’s fortunes on the field.

“He comes as one of the most iconic figures in English football, the most successful scorer in England and Manchester United’s history. So that brings a level of expectation,” he stated.

“Everything that Wayne does brings a level of expectation but ever since I was introduced to him and we became teammates, the boy has got that touch where he succeeds.

“This is the next step for him and what I would say to any coach anywhere in the world, but particularly in the EPL and England, is that MLS is a brilliant, brilliant league to manage in. It’s the most difficult league in the world to win, to be successful in.”

While Neville is poised to welcome a friend in an opposition dugout, opposite number Jim Curtin is losing a figure from his own bench, as defender Stuart Findlay exits the Pennsylvania outfit.

A lack of minutes has steered the center-back towards the door, but his manager has no worries in wishing him the best of luck for his next steps.

“It’s positive on both sides,” Curtin said. “Obviously, there’s always complications and different things that go on, but he’s been an absolute professional.

“He’s great in our locker room, the players love him – he’s just in a situation where (he) wants to play minutes consistently, and here in Philly, he hasn’t gotten that opportunity.”


Inter Miami – Leonardo Campana

With eight goals to his name, the striker has been a key figure for Neville’s side as they have sought to string together a run of good form this term. He remains one of their brightest threats.

Philadelphia – Daniel Gazdag

With 20 on-target attempts this term, the Union man has been a constant threat up front. His conversion rate might not be as great as he would hope, but he still has the capacity to trouble defenses.


– Inter Miami is unbeaten in its last three matches against the Union (W1 D2) following a scoreless draw at Subaru Park on May 18. The three straight matches without defeat equals the longest active run for Miami against any single opponent (also vs. Toronto).

– Inter Miami has won three straight, and five of its last six home matches (D1). Miami has scored multiple goals in all six of those matches, the longest run of home games with multiple goals by any team this MLS season.

– Philadelphia tied an MLS record for margin of victory in its 7-0 win over D.C. United on Friday, the fifth time a team has won a match by seven goals. The Union scored five of those goals in the first half, also equaling an MLS record for goals in the first half of a match.

– Damion Lowe’s own goal in the second minute of stoppage time against Orlando on Saturday marked the first time in MLS history that a match ended 1-0 with the lone goal in that game being a stoppage time own goal.

– Three Union players (Julian Carranza – 3, Mikael Uhre, Alejandro Bedoya – 2 each) scored multiple goals against D.C. United on Friday. It marked the fifth time in MLS history a team has seen three players score multiple goals in a match, and the second time the Union did so (also in 2017).