Wayne Rooney bagged the first hat-trick of his Major League Soccer career as D.C. United trounced 10-man Real Salt Lake 5-0 at Audi Field.
Rooney scored a pair in the first half and then sealed the deal in the 65th minute as he led the way to keep D.C. United unbeaten through the first three games of the season. The England international picked up his first goals of the 2019 season in emphatic fashion, exploding out of the gates in the 34th minute to break the deadlock with a fabulous dinked finish after a bad RSL turnover in the defensive third.
Rooney then doubled his tally and the lead from the spot after Damir Kreilach conceded the penalty with a foul on Lucas Rodriguez confirmed via VAR.
RSL fell down a man when Jefferson Savarino was shown a straight red card deep into first-half stoppage time for a dangerous boot that caught Luciano Acosta square in the face. They lost another when Marcelo Silva was shown a second yellow in the 67th minute.
Finally, amid thoughts of taking the 33-year-old off to manage his minutes, the hat-trick arrived as Rooney received an unselfish feed from Junior Moreno in a two-on-one situation and couldn’t miss, with a big smile on his face as he celebrated with hugs from teammates.
D.C. United has begun the season with two wins and a draw in its first three matches, tied atop the Eastern Conference alongside Columbus Crew with seven points. The defense has been the real star of the show so far, still yet to concede a goal through the 270 league minutes.