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Birmingham City
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Columbus Crew SC win 3-2 on Penalties.
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Wayne Rooney transfer 'hyperbole' is 'unbelievable' - D.C. United boss Ben Olsen

D.C. United coach Ben Olsen hit back at some of the negative reaction from fans over the club's potential signing of Wayne Rooney.

Olsen admitted last week that his MLS club had interest in the Everton striker after reports in England said a deal in principle had been agreed.

But reaction to the news online has been mixed, with some fans and pundits questioning why United would pursue a 32-year-old player when MLS rivals like Atlanta United are focusing on younger talemt.

Olsen said he was aware of some of the "hyperbole" surrounding the transfer speculation, but insisted Rooney has plenty to offer.

"I have enough on my plate to not focus too much on the polarity of the whole situation," Olsen told reporters on Tuesday. " It has come to me through a few people that there is some positive and negative spins to the whole thing. I don't really give a [hoot] what the media has right now. It's their job to live in this hyperbole world.

"If that guy came to our team, I'm pretty sure he'd be pretty good. I think he'd do just fine."

Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney

On Sunday, ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman backed Rooney to succeed but also questioned whether D.C. United would use the addition of a "mega-superstar" to improve "one of the worst teams in Major League Soccer" on and off the pitch.

Olsen, though, attempted to downplay the excitement and suggested D.C. has a number of players on its radar.

"The hyperbole of everything is just unbelievable," he said. "The lack of reality and just stepping back is hard to do right now for a lot of people. I live in reality right here every week and we're going to continue to try to make this team better with some additions. That you can bank on. Who it is, we'll continue to try to find that out."

D.C. United has two available designated player spots that they can use to sign players who will have a lessened impact on their salary cap, and The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Rooney would take one slot while the club is also targeting a "young South American player" to sign when the secondary transfer window opens in July.


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