Wayne Rooney insists he has not moved to DC United to wind down his career and that he retains the hunger required to succeed in Major League Soccer.
The forward, 32, has signed a three-and-a-half-year contract to leave Everton and conclude a decorated career in England but he has joined a struggling team widely considered the worst in MLS.
Rooney’s decision to move comes at a time when his status at Everton had become uncertain and when he had once expected to be involved with England at this summer’s World Cup.
He left Manchester United after he had also become peripheral there, but Rooney is determined to deliver success in the United States.
“I’m not here to see out the last few years of my career, I’m here to compete, I’m here to win and that’s the way I’ve always played and will always play,” he said at his unveiling, shown on Sky Sports.
“Even on the training pitch yesterday, there were a few of the academy players and I had a go at them for not running as hard as they should have. That’s on my first day.
“I’ve always set high targets. I demand a lot of myself and expect that from team-mates as well. I have to adapt to however the club is run, and embrace it.
“The club has got great history. It’s been tough over the past few years and the club doesn’t need to look back at that history, it needs to create more history.
“We have to improve, but there’s talent in the team; maybe (with) some guidance on and off the pitch.
“It’s a new challenge, new culture, new league to play in, so I’m excited. I can’t wait to get started.”
The one-time captain dismissed as “unfair” questions about if he would be disappointed if England became world champions after the end of his international career.
He then said of his departure from Everton: “I was grateful and delighted to go back there last summer. But I’ve made the decision to come here.
“I’m sure there’s a lot of questions about why I left Everton and I’m sure the people who want to know can ask Everton and let them answer it.
“I made the decision to come here and I’m delighted to be here – I’m just looking forward to (my) first game.
“I’m sure there’s more players going to come in. We want to keep trying to build the team. It’s been a tough few years for the club but it’s moving in the right direction.
“We have to improve if we want to be successful again. With the new stadium coming, the training ground – to move forward we’ll need to bring new players in and I’m sure they’re looking at that.”