MLS and Wayne Rooney are in war-of-words after MLS All Star game Vs Arsenal on Thursday.
Arsenal crushed MLS All-Star with an emphatic 5-0 win to grab the biggest win ever in the competition. The MLS All-Star Game is an annual football competiton that pits one best international team or another All-star team against the MLS All-Star team – a group of top level MLS players aggregated for the competition under an MLS manager.
This year, Arsenal were picked by MLS for the clash with DC United manager Wayne Rooney picked to take charge of the MLS All Stars team.
It ended in a defeat for the hosts as Arsenal ran out 5-0 winners after the final whistle at the Audi Field Stadium in Washington DC.
Gabriel Jesus opened the scoring for Arsenal just five minutes into the game before Leandro Trossard doubled the lead in the 27th minute to seal a 2-0 first-half lead before going into the break.
Two minutes into the second half, Jorginho scored a penalty to make it 3-0 for the London club. MLS All-Stars made no attempt to reduce the deficit but held off the 2022/23 Premier League runners-up for most of the second half before two late goals in the 84th and 89th minute from Gabriel Martinelli and Kai Havertz condemned the host to a humiliating 5-0 defeat.
Reacting to the game, Wayne Rooney shoved the poor result insisting of better prospects for the MLS through the annual competiton which tests the strength of the league against other top clubs in established leagues around the world.
Rooney attributed the defeat to inadequate preparations before the clash given the pedigree of his opponents – Arsenal.
“Everything around the game is great and it’s great publicity for the league moving forward”, he said.
“We literally had no time to do any tactics whatsoever. You put the players out there and hope that they can figure things out, and against a team like Arsenal that’s very difficult to do.”
Also, the DC United manager berated the demeaning treatment of his coaching staff by Apple TV Crew during the game which he said he must comment on in all fairness to his coaching staff.
According to him, Apple partnership with the MLS is a good development but the media giants maltreated his staff during the game, kicking them out of their seats.
“Apple coming into the league has been great although they didn’t allow my staff to sit in their seats today. My staff got kicked out of their seats today by members of Apple.”
Wayne Rooney described the experience allegedly orchestrated by Apple TV Crew as ‘disappointing.’
“And I wouldn’t be doing my staff a service if I didn’t bring that up because if you are getting asked to do the game with your staff, you are expecting your staff to have seats to sit in, so that was very disappointing. Although I do think Apple will help the league moving forward,” he said.
Reacting to Wayne Rooney’s indictment of Apple team, MLS issued a statement on Thursday morning disputing the English tactician.
‘It is not true that any members of Apple’s staff were seated in the technical area during last night’s Major League Soccer All-Star Game,” MLS statement reads.
🗣 "What do you take out of this game personally as a coach?"— Football Daily (@footballdaily) July 20, 2023
Wayne 🗣 "Absolutely nothing." 🤣
Wayne Rooney's reaction to the experience of coaching the MLS All-stars 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/0MPOYQiaFm
Futballnews learnt Apple have signed a 10-year deal with MLS worth $2.5billion to broadcast all MLS matches going forward.
The US TV and tech giants are into their first year of the contract and Rooney’s report after the defeat to Arsenal could mar the brand’s reputation and raise questions on their competency to honor through the 10-year contract.
While the MLS have come out to defend the media group, Apple are yet to comment on the incident as alleged at the time of filing this report.