Atlanta United 3-1 DC United: Wayne Rooney's first MLS start ends in defeat
Last Updated: 22/07/18 7:49am
Wayne Rooney's first MLS start ended in defeat as DC United suffered a 3-1 defeat to Atlanta United on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
The former Manchester United and Everton striker endured a frustrating afternoon, playing 66 minutes before being substituted.
DC United, who are bottom of the Eastern Conference, took the lead in the eighth minute through Zoltan Stieber. The Hungarian midfielder cut inside from the right flank before firing a left-footed shot past Brad Guzan and into the far corner.
Rooney was directly involved in the game's second goal in the 30th minute, but it was a poor, misplaced pass straight to an opponent which handed Atlanta the chance to equalise.
Josef Martinez made Rooney pay, beating goalkeeper David Ousted to the ball to head Hector Villalba's cross home.
Early in the second half, Rooney was shown a yellow card after a clash with Chris McCann and just minutes later Martinez gave Atlanta the lead with his second of the game, heading Andrew Carleton's deflected cross into the back of the net at the far post.
And seven minutes after Rooney was replaced, Martinez made it 3-1 with his record-breaking sixth MLS career hat-trick, rounding Ousted to score into an empty net for his 22nd goal of the season from 22 games.
Victory sees Atlanta move four points clear of New York City FC in the race for the Supporters' Shield.