LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Wayne Rooney’s sentimental return to Everton after 13 years away fits the image of a club often criticized for living in the past amid the fast-evolving world of English soccer.
The past 18 months have shown, however, that something exciting is brewing in the blue half of Merseyside: A newfound ambition and a determination to make up for lost time after falling behind the Premier League’s elite.
There’s a new 300-million-pound ($385-million) stadium on the horizon on the Mersey waterfront, replacing the atmospheric but cramped Goodison Park. There’s a wealthy majority shareholder in place in Farhad Moshiri, an Iranian-British businessman who sold his share in Arsenal to get a stake in Everton in early 2016.
There’s a highly regarded manager in…