Orlando City needs a win against Wayne Rooney's DC United

Jul 12, 2022; Washington, DC, USA; D.C. United new head coach Wayne Rooney (M) poses for a picture
Jul 12, 2022; Washington, DC, USA; D.C. United new head coach Wayne Rooney (M) poses for a picture / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

He's back.

Few players victimized Orlando City more than English legend Wayne Rooney did in his time playing for DC United. On three separate occasions, the former Manchester United captain made sensational, super viral plays against the Lions with the most famous being this legendary sequence.

It sucks that it happened against Orlando, because that is one of, if not the, single greatest plays in MLS history. After a few seasons playing for and then coaching Derby County in the English Championship, Rooney is back in the nation's capital this time on the touchline and of course he's making his MLS coaching debut against Orlando City.

This is a sneaky huge match for the Lions at a crucial point in the season. Orlando is coming off the euphoric highs of the US Open Cup, but MLS league play isn't where it needs to be with just one win in the last six games. DC already beat Orlando once this season on the Fourth of July in a wild 5-3 game.

There's no such thing as a must win game in July. This is not a must win game for Oscar Pareja or the club. But with the shifting dynamics in the Eastern Conference playoff race, the Lions can't afford to drop points against a bad DC United team.

The biggest on field question in this match is the status of Taxi Fountas for DC. The Greek dynamo, and former running mate of Ercan Kara in Austria, exploded at the start of his MLS career with 10 goals in his first 13 games, including a hat trick against the Lions. He's struggled with some minor knocks recently, but should be a huge factor once again with his pace and nose for goal.

Orlando's fitness and sharpness following a huge game in midweek is another huge question heading into the match. It ended up being a comfortable 5-1 victory and Orlando gets an extra day of rest by playing on Sunday, but a huge knockout match with all that intensity is going to be hard to recover from in just a few days.