Dissected with the attention to detail of a legendary Masterchef 2nd season casting outcast , your good mate Uncle Bob serves up his weekly Half-Time Orange For Thought; a mental morsel for the sports fanatic with a healthy appetite for wholesome consumables. We at GSV have reluctantly declared ourselves accountable for any digestion difficulties that may or may not occur. Enjoy!
As Millennial’s, we’ve been programmed to subscribe to the culture of instant gratification and the pursuit of instant success, much to our peril; Bradley Wright-Phillips is a name many older football loving Millennial’s will be familiar with, a footballer who’s kin have blessed at least two generations of football viewers with impressive offensive displays. There was a school of thought early on in his career, which believed that Bradley could go on to become as prolific as his father, Crystal Palace & Arsenal legend Ian Wright; Bradley, the younger of the Wright-Philips brothers, showed early signs of his potential when he top scored for the Manchester City reserve side in the 2003-04 season, the teenager begun to get more looks in at 1st team level, yet he ultimately failed to break into the setup and was moved on at the age of 21.
The £500, 000 transfer to Southampton in the Championship on July 5th, 2006, with half of the transfer fee funded by a supporter who won a Coca-Cola competition prize, was seen as a way for the lad to fight his way back to the level many felt his potential dictated he should be playing; Wright-Philips wasted no time repaying some of that good faith from the club, netting on his debut away to Derby County and ending his debut season with 11 goals in all competitions. 14 goals over his next two seasons with The Saints wasn’t enough to save the club from relegation into League One, and Bradley saw himself released, as the club looked to rebuild in the third tier with financial constraints.
A second shot at the Championship with Plymouth Argyle came on July 15th, 2009, when he penned a two year deal with the ambitious club, a knee injury affected spell saw him limited in effectiveness during his 37 games in 2 seasons, scoring 17 goals and briefly regaining fitness and form to be elected into the PFA League One Team of the Year for the 2010 – 11 season. A move back home to London with Charlton Athletic, saw him form part of a side that won the Football League One title in swashbuckling fashion in the 2011 – 12 season under Charlton legend Chris Powell. As the club begun to decline due to in-house instability, Wright-Philips would spend a 15 game loan stopover at Brentford in early 2013, prior to being released yet again, as Charlton continued to try rebuild their roster with limited stability in management; Wright-Phillips would finish with 22 goals to show for his 42 games in 2 years with the club.
When most 28 year old footballers would’ve settled for the security of playing in the lower divisions and hopefully tasting promotion or a cup run or two before they retire having amassed a decent reputation as a professional, Bradley Wright-Phillips gambled on his ability to score goals and joined a highly ambitious New York Red Bulls outfit that was looking to become a major role-player in the ever expanding MLS. Signing for the club on July 24th, 2013, BWP provided the late season push New York needed to claim the 2013 Supporters’ Shield trophy, their 1st major piece of silverware. Wright-Philips would go on to form an impressive partnership with Arsenal legend Thierry Henry, who brought the best out of BWP as a finisher and helped coax the brilliance out of him; Bradley netted an MLS league record equalling 27 regular season goals, as he stormed to the Golden Boot Award in 2014, his 1st full season in the league.
Doubters begun to emerge, as goals dried up after Thierry retired from playing, yet BWP gradually reacclimatised to the change in system and personnel at the club, to continue leading the line and scoring goals at an impressive rate; 17 regular season goals in 2015, and a handy 4 in the Playoff’s, saw him firmly establish himself as a genuine MLS star, and one of the most lethal finishers the league has ever had. Wright-Philips would further cement his legacy, and silence all doubters, when he narrowly beat David Villa to the MLS Golden Boot Award in 2016, scoring an impressive 24 regular season goals for the Red side of New York, becoming the 4th player in MLS history to win 2 scoring titles, joining Taylor Twellman, Jeff Cunningham & Chris Wandolowski in that elite bracket; notching up a number of records on the way, BWP’s 44 goals between 2014 & 2015 equalled Stern John’s record for most goals over a two year span, the Trinidad & Tobago legend amassed his 44 over the 1997 – 98 seasons.
Full Name: Bradley Edward Wright-Phillips
DoB: March 12th, 1985 (31)
PoB: Lewisham, London; England
Nationalities: English, Grenadine, Jamaican, Trinidadian & Toboggan
Caps & Goals: England u/20 | 5 Caps
Position/s: Inside Forward, Advanced Forward, Poacher (Left, Right, Centre)
Preferred Foot: Right
Club: New York Red Bulls Football Club
Jersey Number: #99
Contact Expiry: December 31st, 2017
Market Value: R 254m
Previous Clubs: Manchester City Football Club (2004 – 06) | Southampton Football Club (2006 – 09) | Plymouth Argyle Football Club (2009 – 11) | Charlton Athletic Football Club (2011 – 13) | Brentford Football Club, Loan (2013)
Development Academy: Manchester City Youth Academy (2001-2004)
PFA League One Team of the Year: 2010 – 11| Plymouth Argyle Football Club
Football League One Champion: 2011 – 12 |Charlton Athletic
MLS Supporters’ Shield: 2013 & 2015
MLS All-Star: 2014
MLS Best XI: 2014
MLS Golden Boot: 2014 & 2016
New York Red Bulls Player of the Year: 2014
Castrol Index Top MLS Player: 2014
Fastest MLS Hattrick: 27 Minuets
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The Grand Stand View
Bradley Wright-Phillips arrived in the MLS as Ian Wright’s son and the younger brother of Shaun Wright-Phillips, yet he has gradually established himself as his own man and a genuine MLS legend in the making; his scoring exploits may go unmatched for a few seasons to come, BWP broke the MLS record for the most goals scored in a three year period, with his 62 strikes eclipsing Chris Wondolowski’s 2010 – 12 run. Wright-Phillips is now also the 1st MLS player to have two 20+ goal seasons in the history of the league, while his 1st full season with New York saw him equal the league record for most goals in a single regular season, equalling the 27 co-held by Chris Wondolowski & Roy Lassiter, and at 31, he has time to set a few more records and elevate the benchmark even further.
The legend of BWP may still have a few more pages waiting to be writ, yet the Manchester City youth protégé has risen to fulfil his potential as a genuine star and one of the best English imports to Major League Soccer, which is saying a lot, when one considers the David Beckham’s, Steven Gerrard’s, Frank Lampard’s and Jermain Defoe’s that gone across the pond to try their luck in the expanding league with increasing pull and marketability. Bradley Wright-Phillips is now the leading goalscorer in the history of the New York Red Bulls franchise, beating the long-held record of 62 goals, set by Juan Pablo Ángel, and confirming his place as one of the greatest players in the club’s history. All thing’s said, BWP has far surpassed the accomplishments of your average Manchester City youth graduate, which is less of a slight and more of a compliment to both he and the club; having waited for his turn to fully display his genuine level of ability, Bradley is now proof of what happens when you trust the process and enjoy the journey along the way, which is a Millennial teaching moment in its own.
Written by Mallele Chidi PeTje III (@MCPeTjeIII) for The Grand Stand View (@GSVDaily)