In last night's MLS draft John Rooney was selected by New York Red Bulls in the second round. As must know John is the younger brother of Manchester United's Wayne. To begin, I like many found it strange that MLS allowed foreign, non-college US or Canadian players to enter the Superdraft. I also found it strange that Rooney has played professionally in England with Maccelesfield Town. Nonetheless, he was entered into the draft. Last summer Rooney spent time on trial with Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers, but wasn't signed. However, there was enough hype that MLS invited young Rooney to the combine and draft.
Rooney has had great soccer teaching as a player in Everton's academy for six years. After being released by the club he played for Maccelesfield Town in League 2, the fourth tier of English football. He has played at a lower level than MLS, and it will be interesting if he can contribute anything to the Red Bulls and MLS.
It would be a great story if he can conjure up some of the form his older brother has for Manchest United. But I don't see that happening. If you've followed American football or the NFL or even criminal cases you know a man by the name Michael Vick. Michael has a younger brother named Marcus. Because of Michael becoming a millionaire over night with the Atlanta Falcons Marcus was never in the need for money. He was slightly famous due to his brother's ability. Marcus didn't have to worry about anything. Marcus Vick even had some talent, and was signed to play quarterback at Virgina Tech, the same school Michael attended. That's were the wheels began to come off. Marcus, though talented, was never as talented as his brother. He couldn't feel his shoes and Marcus began to get into trouble with the college and the police. Marcus would go on to a short NFL career with the Miami Dolphins while always living in his brother's shadow. Marcus has gone on to have numerous criminal convictions since.
My point is John Rooney can't live up to his brother Wayne, and according to some reports in the British media has gotten himself into trouble from time to time. No where near the level of a Marcus Vick, but I'm invisioning a similar career in MLS that Marcus had in the NFL. I'd love to be wrong, and we'll find out soon.
In the end, this signing by New York is a win-win situation. They bring in the little brother of a well know footballer in Europe and hope he can become something special. Once the draft reached the second round the teams were looking for either players who could surprise them in pre-season and win a contract or players that can fill reserve rosters and hopefully develop. The Red Bulls' pick of Rooney isn't any worse than any other pick in the second round. But it would have been more surprising if it wasn't New York, as they look for anyway to market the team in a major city that doesn't show that much interest in its team.