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Opinion: Wayne Rooney to D.C. United

Mark Robinson/Getty Images

It isn't uncommon for European players to make the journey overseas and find their way to Major League Soccer. David Beckham most notably made the transition to the LA Galaxy in January of 2007.

With former Manchester United and Everton great Wayne Rooney set to reportedly join Major League Soccer, it appears the United States "premier" soccer league is set to add another aging superstar.

For years Major League Soccer (MLS) continues to fight a notion that it was known as the "retirement league." A place for aging superstars to gather an easy paycheck.

Players such as Thierry Henry, David Beckham, and Sebastian Giovinco all found success in MLS thanks to the Designated Player rule. This hasn't always been the case for every player that makes the trip to the United States.

Italian soccer legend Andrea Pirlo struggled with the adjustment to Major League Soccer. So did the likes of Stephen Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

Gerrard is regarded as a Liverpool legend but his time in MLS was rather forgettable. He had this to say about MLS in a 2015 interview with "If people think they can come here just to have a holiday and retire they are going to have a mistake because they won't perform well and they won't do their team justice because I have had to come here and work hard and get fit, make sure that I keep performing to play well."

This brings up back to the subject at hand, dealing with Wayne Rooney in Major League Soccer. There isn't a doubt in anyone's mind that Wayne Rooney will be provide a temporary boost for this league.

Should he complete the signing with D.C. United, Rooney will serve as one hell of a housewarming gift from MLS for Audi Field. One must ask the question, is this what the league needs right now? Another aging superstar? MLS wants to be regarded as the premier place for soccer in the United States but can't continue to recycle the heroes of European football.

For Major League Soccer to continue to improve, fans need to continue to see the likes of Atlanta United's Miguel Almiron, Columbus Crew SC's Milton Valenzuela, and Real Salt Lake's Albert Rusnak.

Commissioner Don Garber, Soccer United Marketing, "investor-operators," and owners of Major League Soccer franchises need to change their way of thinking and do it quickly.

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