New York Red Bulls' striker Bradley Wright-Phillips recently expressed his happiness with life in Major League Soccer. The Englishman arrived at Red Bull Arena in July 2013 and has tallied 19 goals in 29 games since.
Wright-Phillips currently sits on 18 goals scored this season, one behind Juan Pablo Angel for most in a season for New York Red Bull. Speaking to the Guardian recently, Wright-Phillips spoke about his time in North America's premier soccer league.
“I’d definitely underestimated [MLS] before, you know? Or not really thought about it … and then I got here and watched a few games and teams really try to play and knock it about a bit.
"And of course being in New York, there’s no better city to be in, and the facilities are the best since I was at Manchester City or Southampton. So I just thought, ‘Why not?’ I just embraced it.”
Wright-Phillips is a graduate of Manchester City's youth academy, following in the footsteps of his brother Shaun Wright-Phillips, who currently plays for Queens Park Rangers. The two have football in their DNA as their father Ian Wright played for Arsenal throughout the 90s, winning a glut of trophies with the Gunners.
When Wright-Phillips joined the Red Bulls after being released by English League Championship side Charlton Athletic, the striker was down on his luck. At the time, he was unsure about where he would play in the future after playing for five teams in nine years.
Now after a year of scoring goals for fun in MLS, Wright-Phillips is reportedly gaining attention from England once again. Despite the rumors, Wright-Phillips has been quick to calm any fears of his departure.
"It's very good. I'm happy here, I like it. The weather is good, the training. New Jersey, New York City. I'm not thinking about leaving at all.
“I like playing here. I enjoy it. A lot.”
Wright-Phillips, like Dom Dwyer at Sporting Kansas City, came to MLS to find an opportunity to play football. Like Dwyer, Wright-Phillips has excelled in MLS. But unlike Dwyer, who is using MLS as a launching pad to move to Europe, Wright-Phillips has used it to re-ignite a career that had waned in his native country.
"I can see if you were a top Premier League player only wanting to go to another Premier League team, but that wasn’t my situation and to me, playing here is no different than going to a Championship or good League One team … and you wouldn’t believe the number of calls and text I get every week from players wanting to come out."