New York Red Bulls striker Bradley Wright-Phillips has encouraged more young English players to make the move stateside to play in Major League Soccer after his successes since moving abroad 18 months ago.
The 29-year-old netted 31 times for the Red Bulls in 2014, scoring 27 in the regular season to tie the all-time MLS record for single-season goals.
And he says MLS is “definitely one place English players have to try”, speaking in an interview with the FA.
“When I first came here, obviously it’s different from England, and people don’t really know what you are good at,” Wright-Phillips said.
“I wanted to show them that I can score goals and I’m not too much of a bad player and I just wanted to do that this season. I’ve done alright but there’s still a lot I can improve.”Embed from Getty Images
The Red Bulls star joined the club from Charlton Athletic in July 2013, having played in the Premier League, the Championship and League One in England.
So he is in a perfect position to offer an insight into the differences between the two countries and the differentiating styles of play.
“We play the majority of the season in the summer so the temperature is really high and it can get so hot,” he said.
“What I found playing in the Championship and a lot in League One, there was a lot of long ball, the second ball and playing down the channels.Embed from Getty Images
“Over here, the heat plays a big part in some of the games and results.
“Teams pass it out from the back and try to play. There’s a lot of tactics. It’s good.”
Wright-Phillips is one of few English players to make the move to MLS, but more and more are setting their sights on the league.
The New York forward encourages more young Englishman to make the move across the Atlantic and we could see that happening as Major League Soccer continues to grow.
“For sure. Players get really well looked after here.
“There’s a union that is looking to put things into action to help players get better contracts, and there’s a lot of things to look forward to.
“The standard is high, and it’s definitely one place you have to try. For me, I didn’t know anything about it, but I took the chance and I’m having a great time.”