Red Bulls thrilled to get Rooney junior

Baltimore: New York Red Bulls said they never expected John Rooney, the brother of Manchester United star Wayne, to still be available when it came time for them to pick in the second round of the Thursday’s MLS entry draft.

Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe said they were surprised the younger brother of the England striker went unpicked through the first round because the Red Bulls had him rated as one of the top three midfielders in the draft.

“He’s a box to box player, he has a good understanding of the game and he’s an excellent passer of the ball,” Backe said of Rooney who spent most of his career in the English lower leagues. “I rated him very highly.”

Rooney had featured for unheralded English third division side Macclesfield Town but now the 20-year-old attacker will play in America’s MLS alongside French star Thierry Henry.

Rooney described himself Thursday as a “goal-scoring midfielder”.

“I’m quick, I’m crafty and I can put the ball in the back of the net,” Rooney said. “Hopefully I can do that for them.”

He travelled to Baltimore Thursday with family members for the draft.

Rooney said he has never been to New York but is looking forward to showcasing his skills in the Big Apple for Red Bull fans.

The 2011 MLS season starts in March.

Bureau Report

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