Wayne Rooney

Duane Holmes scores for Derby County
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Stoppage time equalizer for American midfielder Duane Holmes

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Derby County stayed unbeaten with Wayne Rooney on the pitch thanks to a last minute goal from an American playmaker.

Duane Holmes hit a beautiful volley in the first minute of stoppage time to give the Rams a point away to Middlesbrough on Saturday.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

It was the American’s first goal of the season and third in 56 appearances for the Rams. Holmes earned his first two USMNT caps this summer.

The 25-year-old has been an every week starter for Philip Cocu dating back to mid-October.

Rooney went 90 minutes as Derby is 17th with 34 points, eight back of the promotion playoff picture.

Back to Holmes, he admitted that the goal was lucky; He swung his peg but it struck his shin pad to fool the goalkeeper.

Report: DC United, Morelia agree to $5 million-plus fee for Edison Flores

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D.C. United are, slowly but surely, filling in the void left by Wayne Rooney and Luciano Acosta.

The Black-and-Red and Liga MX side Monarcas Morelia have have come to an agreement on the transfer of Peruvian winger Edison Flores, according to The Washington Post’s Steven Goff.

The MLS side will pay over $5 million for the 25-year-old’s services, almost three times the amount that Morelia payed Danish side Aalborg in 2018 for Flores. The winger’s contract with Los Purépechas ran until the summer of 2022.

Flores was a first-team favorite at Morelia – who finished seventh in the recently-finished 2019 Clausura and went on to make a unexpected run into the semifinals before losing to Club America – making 21 appearances for Monarcas last season, and scoring seven goals and recording four assists.

The crafty, left-footed winger is also a staple with the Peruvian national team, accumulating over 43 caps for Ricardo Gareca’s side. Flores featured heavily for Los Incas in the 2018 World Cup and during the 2019 Copa America, which saw Peru make it to the final.

During the offseason, D.C. United has lost key pieces such as Rooney to Derby County, Acosta to Atlas and Lucas Rodriguez to Estudiantes.

Flores appears to be the first of three important signings for the nation’s capital side, who lost to Toronto FC 5-1 in MLS Cup playoffs. The franchise has also been linked to Santos Laguna’s Brian Lozano, Venezuelan striker Gelmin Rivas and Ecuadoran midfielder Christian Aleman.

FA Cup Sunday preview: Chelsea, Tottenham in action, Liverpool host Everton

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The third round of the FA Cup is underway, with Aston Villa being the only Premier League team to lose on Saturday. But Sunday’s action promises for quality entertainment and more possible upsets as six top-tier sides enter the tournament.

 [ LIVE: Follow all the FA Cup scores here ]

Carlo Ancelotti and Everton travel down the road to Anfield as the Merseyside Derby headlines the oldest knockout competition in world’s Sunday action. Earlier this season, in Champions League group stage play, Jurgen Klopp and Ancelotti went head-on, with Napoli – the Italian manager’s team at the time – taking the two-match series with a victory and draw. In early December, Liverpool thumped the Toffees 5-2 at Anfield.

Meanwhile, a recovering Chelsea host a thriving Nottingham Forest, while Wayne Rooney and Derby County visit Crystal Palace. Tottenham commences their post-Mauricio Pochettino FA Cup journey as they travel to Middlesbrough, who are coming off a four-game winning streak in the Championship.

Who will win bragging rights in Liverpool? Will Jose Mourinho double down for FA Cup glory?

Below is Sunday’s full schedule of the FA Cup’s third round bouts.


Sunday’s FA Cup third round schedule

Sunday

9:01 a.m. ET: Charlton v West Brom
9:01 a.m. ET: Chelsea v Nottingham Forest
9:01 a.m. ET: Middlesbrough v Tottenham
9:01 a.m. ET: Crystal Palace v Derby County
9:01 a.m. ET: QPR v Swansea
9:01 a.m. ET: Sheffield United v AFC Fylde
9:01 a.m. ET: Crewe v Barnsley
9:01 a.m. ET: Bristol Rovers v Coventry
9:01 a.m. ET: Burton Albion v Northampton
11:01 a.m. ET: Liverpool v Everton
1:16 p.m. ET: Gillingham v West Ham

‘Delighted’ Rooney assists, captains Derby County in debut win (video)

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Wayne Rooney returned to English football in style, picking up an assist while captaining Derby County in a 2-1 defeat of Barnsley on Thursday.

The 34-year-old swept a free kick to the foot of Jack Marriott for the first goal of the match. The Rams moved to 33 points, eight points back of the playoff places.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Rooney was credited with three tackles and two interceptions to go with his key pass, and was tracking to be the Man of the Match before petering out over time. From The Derby Telegraph:

“It was a good victory in the end,” he said. “That’s seven points out of the last nine and for myself personally, I’m delighted to get 90 minutes.

“It was nice. Obviously, I’ve been training for a long time now, so it’s always nice to get back on the pitch. It felt good, but the most important thing for us was the three points.”

Next up for Derby is a visit to Middlesbrough, who holds the same amount of points as his Rams.

What are reasonable expectations as Rooney prepares for Derby County debut?

Wayne Rooney prepares for Derby County debut
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Oh, there are so many ways this could go…

Wayne Rooney is set to debut for Derby County on Wednesday, his first appearance in the Football League Championship following 491 Premier League appearances and 50 more in MLS.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule

Throw in 187 more runs in the cups of Europe, and you’ve got a pretty good handle on why manager Phillip Cocu isn’t going to hesitate to give Rooney a chance to shine early and often.

“If a player with the qualities, career and the experience of Rooney (is available) you have to be very happy and glad he is here, so I don’t need a suspension to consider him in the first XI to be honest,” Cocu said.

Cocu says expectations should be lowered for the 34-year-old Rooney at the start of his tenure at Pride Park. From The Derby Telegraph:

“He’s fit, he can start but he will need a few games. Expectation will be high when he starts playing but we have to give him a few games to build up his minutes and get in the team. So maybe not perfect from the start, but it’s important he will get in the team as soon as possible so we get a certain shape in our team.”

Derby sits 17th in the Championship with 30 points, nine clear of the bottom three and nine back from the playoff places. Rooney joined the club in late November but wasn’t eligible to play for the side until January.

So what should we expect from Rooney?

Most former MLS players’ performances in the Championship are difficult to compare to Rooney. There’s the obvious trouble given he enters with one of the best resumes in English history. And usually the move is represented by youngsters, like Jack Harrison and DeAndre Yedlin or MLS bit players going home (often to levels below England).

Rooney was a force in Major League Soccer, no doubt, so it’s reasonable to expect he’ll deliver some of the goods at Derby. Thirty-two year old Steven Fletcher has 12 goals this season, Lewis Grabban (31) has 11, and that both Pablo Hernandez (34) and Lukas Jutkiewicz (30) put up double-digits in goals and assists last season.

No, this isn’t about whether Rooney will produce offense, or even if he’ll be able to stymy the red mist that saw him sent off twice at DC United. Admittedly, the last point is a bit more of a concern than the first given the fine margins in the Championship.

Promotion from the Championship would be a surprise and unexpected notch in Rooney’s belt. Not a lot of players have turned that trick having already minted their legend status.

Our prediction: Rooney helps the Rams to a bunch of wins and some decent additions in the January window to boot. He pitches in 8-10 goals and a half-dozen assists while the Rams make it to the playoffs. Anything after that is impossible to guarantee, which is why the Rams would’ve been better served not sitting 21 points off leaders Leeds United and West Brom.

But he is where he is, and he’s done more with less. And at the very least, this should be a lot of fun.