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Luke Shaw has ended speculation over his future by signing a new five-year deal with Manchester United.
Former England and Manchester United star Rooney, whose arrival in Washington has transformed the club's season, curled in a superb strike from 30 yards in the 18th minute to settle the points.
The former United and England midfielder has been a frequent and vocal critic of his old club, who are languishing in eighth place in the Premier League.
The match was played in a tense atmosphere, United having denied a report earlier in the day that Mourinho would be sacked that weekend regardless of the result.
Manchester United assistant coach Michael Carrick hails Jose Mourinho as managerial 'great' alongside Sir Alex Ferguson
Carrick told Britain's Press Association that the most striking thing about the Portuguese boss was his track record in winning trophies over many years.
Mourinho accused his critics of staging a "manhunt" to get him sacked after a string of bad results and rifts with players including French midfielder Paul Pogba.
But a thrilling comeback from 2-0 down to beat lowly Newcastle 3-2 could prove to be little more than a stay of execution for Mourinho, with a run of tougher fixtures looming.
Senior figures at United told Press Association Sport that Mourinho would retain his job for the immediate future.
United's stuttering start to the season has seen the experienced Portuguese coach's position at Old Trafford repeatedly called into question.
Jose Mourinho's United have made their worst start to a league campaign in 29 years after an embarrassing 3-1 loss at West Ham and are already out of the League Cup.