The New York Red Bulls added a new player to their roster this week as English winger Shaun Wright-Phillips signed a contract to join up with his brother Bradley Wright-Phillips.
There have been a number of high profile imports to Major League Soccer recently. Midfielders Andrea Pirlo of the Italian national team and Serie A champions Juventus and former Chelsea and Manchester City player Frank Lampard have joined up with New York City Football Club. On the west coast, Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard is now a member of the Los Angeles Galaxy. The most recent superstar to join MLS is Ivory Coast striker and Chelsea great Didier Drogba. Earlier this week Drogba signed a contract to join one of Major League soccer’s newest clubs; the Montreal Impact.
The Red Bulls’ signing of Shaun Wright-Phillips may not have been as high profile as those of the aforementioned players; however the impact of the team’s new addition may prove to be even more significant than those better known names.
Brothers Bradley and Shaun were destined for soccer stardom as they were raised by former England and Arsenal great Ian Wright. Wright held the scoring record for Arsenal for many years with a total of 185 goals. His record was eventually broken by former Red Bulls striker Thierry Henry who amassed 228 goals with the North London English Premier League club.
Interestingly the Wright-Phillips brothers are not biologically related. Shaun was adopted by Ian Wright and grew up alongside Bradley.
While Bradley has established himself as a star striker with the Red Bulls, it is Shaun that has actually had more success as a professional.
Shaun played at the highest level of English football with Premier League clubs Manchester City, Chelsea and most recently Queens Park Rangers. He has also represented England in 36 international competitions.
Younger brother Bradley was less successful in his native England. Between 2004 and 2013 he was in his older brother’s shadow. He began his English career alongside Shaun at Manchester City, but ended up toiling in the lower English leagues with Plymouth Argyle, Charlton Athletic and Brentford.
It wasn’t until Bradley joined the Red Bulls in 2013 that he began to make a name for himself in the world of soccer. In 2014 Bradley was named the New York Red Bulls Player of the Year and one of Major League Soccer’s best eleven. Even more impressive, Bradley was the recipient of the league’s 2014 Golden Boot award with a league leading 27 goals.
The New York Red Bulls are currently in third place in the Eastern Conference with 29 points. There are still plenty of matches yet to be played this MLS season. The Red Bulls are hoping that the addition of Bradley’s brother Shaun will be a catalyst to help the club make the MLS playoffs. As the offspring of the legendary English striker Ian Wright, the Wright-Phillips brothers certainly have the pedigree to help the Red Bulls succeed.