Bradley Edward Wright-Phillips (born 12 March 1985) is an English footballer who plays as a striker for the Major League Soccer club New York Red Bulls.
He began his career with Manchester City in the Premier League, before spending the remainder of his time in England in second and third tiers with Southampton, Plymouth Argyle, Charlton Athletic, and Brentford. Wright-Phillips joined the Red Bulls halfway through the 2013 season, helping them to the Supporters' Shield, and in his first full season he equalled the league's record for most goals in a single campaign with 27. He is a two-time MLS Golden Boot winner and currently holds the New York Red Bulls record for most goals scored.
Internationally, Wright-Phillips earned five England U20 caps in 2005 and, since moving to North America, has rejected the opportunity to represent Jamaica through his family background.
Family and early life
Wright-Phillips is the son of former Arsenal and England player Ian Wright. His older brother, Shaun Wright-Phillips, was his teammate at the New York Red Bulls for two seasons. He grew up in Brockley, South London and attended the state school Kelsey Park School in Beckenham and then moved to Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham College nearby in New Cross Gate.
He was the top scorer for the Manchester City reserve team in the 2003–04 season. On 6 December 2004, he scored his first Premier League goal, four minutes after making his league debut as a substitute for Jon Macken against Middlesbrough. His only goal of the following season was the last in a 4–1 win over Birmingham City on 17 December 2005.
After many frustrating appearances for Manchester City, with few goals, he was sold to Championship team Southampton for £500,000 on 5 July 2006. Half of the transfer fee was funded by a prize from Coca-Cola won in a competition by a fan. He made an immediate impact at Southampton, scoring on his debut against Derby County at Pride Park, and scoring an impressive goal against Wolverhampton Wanderers in a 2–0 win at St. Mary's. He scored a total of 11 goals in the 2006–07 season. In 2007–08 he started the season with goals against Burnley and Queens Park Rangers. He made a total of 120 appearances for the club, scoring 24 goals.
Wright-Phillips warming up for Plymouth Argyle in May 2010
At the end of the 2008–09 season, following Southampton's relegation to League One, Wright-Phillips was released from his contract at the club. On 15 July 2009, he signed a two-year deal with Plymouth Argyle of the Championship. After he recovered from a knee injury, Wright-Phillips made his debut for the club on 15 September 2009 against Watford. The knee injury occurred once again, and he was sidelined for another long-term spell. In January 2010, Wright-Phillips made his long-awaited return for Argyle in the FA Cup against Newcastle United. He made his first start for the club against Coventry City in March 2010, and scored his first goal for Plymouth against Bristol City on 16 March 2010. On 11 December 2010, Wright-Phillips scored both goals against Exeter City in the Devon derby in a 2–0 Plymouth win, the second marked his 12th of the season.
On 24 January 2011, it was announced that Wright-Phillips was moving to fellow League One club Charlton Athletic for an undisclosed fee. He scored the only goal on his debut against Colchester United on 1 February 2011. On 28 February 2012, he scored a hat-trick in a 4–0 win at Chesterfield. Wright-Phillips contributed 22 goals in 42 matches as Charlton Athletic won the 2011–12 Football League One title. He was released by Charlton at the end of the 2012–13 season.
Loan to Brentford
On 19 February 2013, he joined Brentford on loan until the end of the season. In his half season at the club he appeared in 15 league matches scoring 5 goals.
New York Red Bulls
On 24 July 2013, Wright-Phillips joined the New York Red Bulls. Despite joining the club in the latter part of the season Wright-Phillips was a contributor in helping New York capture its first major title, the MLS Supporters' Shield, playing seven regular season games and scoring once, the concluding goal in a 2–0 win against the Houston Dynamo at the BBVA Compass Stadium. On 6 November, he netted against the same opposition in the Eastern Conference semifinal, but his team were eliminated from the playoffs after extra time.
Wright-Phillips in training with Thierry Henry and Peguy Luyindula in August 2014
On 23 April 2014, Wright-Phillips scored a hat-trick in a 4–0 win against the Dynamo, becoming the first Englishman to score three goals in an MLS game. He secured his second hat-trick for New York on 10 May during a 5–4 home loss to the Chicago Fire. Of note, he scored the winner in a friendly against his father's former team Arsenal, and the equaliser against Bayern Munich in the 2014 MLS All-Star Game. Two days after the All-Star game, Red Bulls Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh claimed that Wright-Phillips' scoring exploits were producing international transfer interest in the player. On 23 August 2014, he scored his 19th and 20th goals of the season in a 4–2 win against Montreal Impact to surpass Juan Pablo Ángel's club record for goals scored in a single season, and on 20 September he returned from a short-term injury to record his third hat trick of the 2014 MLS season in a 4–1 win over Seattle Sounders FC. On 26 October 2014 Wright-Phillips scored twice to equal the Major League Soccer season goal record of 27 goals as New York beat Sporting Kansas City 2–0 in the league's regular-season finale.
Wright-Phillips again scored twice for the Red Bulls in their first match of the 2014 MLS Cup Playoffs, once again against Kansas City in a 2–1 victory. He scored his third play-off goal against D.C. United in the first leg of the 2014 MLS Eastern Conference semi-final, helping New York to a 2–0 victory. The Red Bulls got to the Eastern Conference Final against the New England Revolution. In the first leg Wright-Phillips recklessly encroached upon Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth on a throw, earning his second yellow of the playoffs. He had to miss the second, do-or-die leg in Foxborough, where the Red Bulls' season ended with a 2-2 tie losing the series 3-2 on aggregate thus missing MLS Cup Final.
Following his 2014 success, New York signed Wright-Phillips to a designated player contract for 2015. On 22 March 2015 Wright-Phillips scored his first goal of the season and assisted Lloyd Sam on another in a 2–0 victory over rival D.C. United at Red Bull Arena earning him MLS Player of the Week honors. The following week Wright-Phillips was selected to the MLS Team of the Week for his performance in a 2-1 victory over Columbus Crew in which he scored his second goal of the season and assisted on Mike Grella's game-winning goal. On 10 May, he scored both goals as the Red Bulls won 2–1 at home against New York City FC in the first Hudson River derby between the two franchises, and equalised in a 3–1 victory at the rivals' Yankee Stadium on 28 June. On 11 July, he helped New York to a 4–1 victory over New England Revolution, scoring twice during the match.
Bradley Wright-Phillips signing autographs after a match in 2016.
On 1 August 2015, Wright-Phillips scored the opening goal in a 3–1 away victory over Philadelphia Union. He was assisted on the goal by his brother Shaun who was making his debut for New York. Eight days later he scored in his third New York derby of the season, opening a 2–0 home win. On 30 August, Wright-Phillips scored two goals in helping New York to a 3–0 victory over D.C. United. On 25 October Wright-Phillips scored the opening goal for New York in 2–1 victory over Chicago, helping Red Bulls clinch the 2015 MLS Supporters' Shield. In the second leg of the Conference semi-finals against D.C. United in the 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs, Wright-Phillips scored the only goal of the game in added time, and his team advanced 2–0 on aggregate.
On 24 April 2016, Wright-Phillips scored his first two goals of the season in helping New York come from behind to win 3–2 over Orlando City SC. Wright-Phillips scored two goals and assisted on another in a 7-0 win over New York City FC at Yankee Stadium on 21 May.
In his 100th appearance with the club on 28 May, a 3–0 home win over Toronto FC, Wright-Phillips set an MLS record scoring a hat-trick in the first 27 minutes of the game; it was the fastest scored from the opening whistle in league history. A week later, he was named as the Etihad Player of the Month for May; recording six goals and two assists in May. With his 8th goal in 6 games against New York City FC; Wright-Phillips tied Juan Pablo Ángel for club's most goals all-time with 62. Wright-Phillips broke the all-time scoring record with his 63rd on 31 July against the Chicago Fire Two weeks later he scored two goals against the Montreal Impact in a 3-1 victory; breaking another team record with 59 league goals. After scoring the second goal in a 2–2 draw against D.C. United, Wright-Phillips broke an MLS record by scoring the most league goals over a three-year span with 62 spanning from the 2014–2016 seasons. A record previously held by Chris Wondolowski from 2010–2012. With his 20th league goal in 2016, Wright-Phillips became the first player in league history to record two 20-plus goal seasons. On 23 October, Wright-Phillips captured his second MLS Golden Boot title in three years, beating cross town rival, David Villa by one goal.
On 22 February 2017, Wright-Phillips scored his first CONCACAF Champions League goal for the club in a 1–1 draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps in the quarterfinals. On 29 March, Wright-Phillips signed a new multi-year designated player contract with the club. On 18 June, Wright-Phillips scored two late goals to lead New York to a 2-0 victory over Philadelphia Union. On 13 July, Wright-Phillips scored his first 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup goal; a late winner to lead New York to a 1-0 victory over New England Revolution, advancing to the semifinals of the cup. One month later on 15 August, Wright-Phillips scored a brace against FC Cincinnati, including a goal in the 101st minute to send New York to their first Open Cup final since 2003. With his 15th goal of the season on 9 September, Wright-Phillips joined Robbie Keane as the only two players in MLS history to score 15 or more goals in four consecutive seasons. On 5 November, Wright-Phillips scored his 100th career goal for the New York Red Bulls in a 1-0 victory over Toronto FC.
On 1 March 2018, Wright-Phillips opened the scoring for New York in a 2–0 victory over Olimpia in the CONCACAF Champions League. With the victory New York advanced to the Champions League Quarterfinals for the second time in club history. On 6 March he scored two goals to lead New York to a 2–0 victory in Mexico over Club Tijuana in the CONCACAF Champions League. On 10 March 2018, he scored his first league goal in a 4-0 victory over Portland Timbers. On 13 March 2018, Wright-Phillips assisted on all of New York's goals in a 3-1 victory over Club Tijuana in the CONCACAF Champions League, helping the club advance to semifinals of the Champions League for the first time. On 5 May 2018, Wright-Phillips added to his tally of goals against New York City FC, scoring his clubs second goal in a 4-0 victory. On 25 July 2018, Wright-Phillips scored his 100th MLS goal in a 1-0 victory over DC United, surpassing Taylor Twellman as the fastest player in MLS history to score 100 goals. On 5 August, New York Red Bulls retired his No 99 jersey and announced that they will never issue it to another player after he retires.
Wright-Phillips represented England at U20 level. He was first called up in February 2005 and he made his debut as a half time substitute in a 2–0 friendly victory against Russia. He was called up again that summer for the 2005 Toulon Tournament where he played Tunisia, South Korea and the third-place playoff penalty shootout victory over Mexico.
In addition to England, Wright-Phillips is eligible to represent Grenada, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago through his heritage. In 2015, Grenada and Jamaica both approached Wright-Phillips about a transfer of allegiances but the player chose to concentrate on his club football.
Bradley is married to Leann; the couple have three children.
Wright-Phillips holds an active interest in grime music and is affiliated with Lewisham-based grime crew OGz having appeared on pirate radio sets with the group. In 2014, he clashed fellow footballer Yannick Bolasie for the long running grime DVD series Lord of the Mics.
Wright-Phillips earned his U.S. green card following the 2016 MLS season.