Jose Mourinho has floated the possibility of Wayne Rooney leaving Manchester United. It's probably something long overdue because he can't really cut it at that level anymore and the rumors have already begun to fly as to where he might end up next. Naturally, one of them is MLS. The question is which MLS club could actually be in the running for him. Unfortunately for the likes of the Columbus Crew, he's just not going to go to a small market, and wherever he goes will have to pony up a ton of cash.
So what are Rooney's potential MLS landing spots?
The club will be looking to make a big splash in their expansion season next year and Rooney would definitely be a splash. Atlanta have already shown to be ambitious and willing to spend big so there's a potential fit, but it doesn't look like the club wants to go with older players. They've signed a young Argentine as their first Designated Player and have been linked to the likes of Andres Guardado. So don't bet on this one, and that's before getting into the whole turf thing.
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This should be an obvious landing spot. Big city, available Designated Player spot, team that could use some publicity. The problem is that the Fire haven't shown much interest in spending money or anything that resembles ambition. If that changes ...
Mike DinovoMike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Fast forward a few years to a D.C. United team playing in their new stadium with ownership that is willing to invest in the team and it could work. But not now.
Tommy GilliganTommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Houston isn't exactly a sexy city. And Rooney playing in the summer Texas heat seems like a terrible idea. It's also unclear what direction the club is even going.
Thomas SheaThomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Big star + LA Galaxy = gimme.
Steven Gerrard is leaving the club after the season so there's a Designated Player spot. The Galaxy are never short on cash. They have the appeal and are used to dealing with big English stars. It all makes sense. Except that Gerrard didn't pan out and they already have a striker of questionable mobility in Robbie Keane, not to mention and abundance of attacking players. LA will almost definitely sign another Designated Player this winter, but probably not Rooney.
They signed Didier Drogba, so they can get big name strikers. And Drogba is almost definitely on the way out so Rooney could just slide into his spot. But Montreal and it's French-speaking community isn't going to appeal to Rooney the way it did Drogba, and Montreal already showed they're not exactly digging their immobile striker.
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New England Revolution
Like Chicago, this should be an option. But the Revs probably aren't going to pay what Rooney wants and it's tough to imagine Rooney playing on turf in a half-empty NFL stadium.
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New York City FC
Rooney wouldn't be a fit with NYCFC. Not if David Villa returns, as is expected. But NYCFC have signed big names for huge money even when they don't really fit together before ...
Andy MarlinAndy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
New York Red Bulls
It's been a while since the Red Bulls chased a big name or spent big money. All of their Designated Players are paid less than $1 million and Bradley Wright-Phillips, who people only knew at the time for being Shaun's brother, was the biggest name of the trio when he was signed. Their approach is fine, seeing as they are the class of the East, but it will probably keep them out of the Rooney race.
Vincent CarchiettaVincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
The Union have an available Designated Player spot and could definitely use a striker. The question is whether they're willing to pony up the cash, but if they are, they're the team that makes the most sense.
Derik HamiltonDerik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Portland should be too small for Rooney, but you can't discount the presence of Nike in town. Rooney has been one of Nike's poster boys for years and they'd love to have him right there. Portland does have turf, but it's by far the best turf in the league and the club's support is second to none. There's also the matter of whether the Timbers would spend that much money, seeing as they've not come anywhere close before.
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Every indication is that Clint Dempsey will be back next season, but if he's not, Rooney might actually fit in Seattle. Still, they don't really make a ton of sense and don't appear to be going in the direction where Rooney would fit. Not to mention, they play on turf that isn't very good once it's a year from being installed.
Troy WayrynenTroy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
They don't have a Designated Player spot, but Michael Bradley has been linked to an AC Milan move. Of course, it's hard to imagine anyone making Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore and Rooney work together, so nope.