Wayne Rooney’s DC United began their MLS campaign by defeating defending champions Atlanta United by two goals to nil on Sunday. The game was one with a lot of chances in the match that was played on a rainy night in the nation’s capital.

The first half was cagey with few opportunities but on the stroke of halftime, DC broke the deadlock with a piece of setpiece brilliance. Rooney whipped a corner kick which was converted from close range by Paul Arriola. In the second half, Luciano Acosta doubled the lead with a long-range drive that wrong-footed Brad Guzan in goal.

Atlanta looked tired after their midweek exertions in the CONCACAF Champions League game and star signing Pity Martinez started from the bench coming in at the 59thminute for his MLS debut. While DC’s big signing Lucas Rodriguez made his debut from the start and registered an assist before being substituted in the 67th minute of the game.

DC United would be looking to make a better start this season in the race to make the play-off. Last season the team was bottom of the Eastern Conference before the arrival of Wayne Rooney inspired the team to make the playoffs.

Rooney was impressive in the run forming a fruitful partnership with Acosta as he netted 12 goals and provided a further seven assists in 21 appearances. The club would be hopeful that the pre-season break would provide enough rest for the veteran striker to make more records this season.

It was a losing debut for Dutch legend Frank de Boer who was appointed as Atlanta coach in December following the exit of Tata Martino. De Boer would be looking to improve on where his predecessor left as Atalanta United are the overwhelming favourites to defend their title.