New York Red Bulls signing Bradley Wright-Phillips returned from England late Thursday night with good news; he has received his visa.
Wasting no time, the 28-year-old striker was in training with the Red Bulls Friday morning.
“Just got in last night so he is good to go,” Head Coach Mike Petke confirmed. However, that does not mean he will be eligible for the team’s match against Philadelphia this Saturday.
“It wouldn’t be fair to him or the guys that have worked hard all week (for him to play against they Union),” Petke explained. “We will give him a week of training under his belt and he will be available for the Chivas game.”
For Wright-Phillips, it is the end of a taxing waiting process. The young English striker joined the club in mid-June, and signed on the last week of July. Since then, he has been forced to travel back to England to sort his visa issues.
“It was a bit frustrating but it gave me time to get fit,” he explained. “It’s a good time for me man. I felt like I was here just in the way. The coaches didn’t give me that impression, but myself, I want to be here working for my money. I don’t want to be here just training, getting questions all the time about when it’s going to get sorted and I don’t have the answer.
“Now I can finally say it’s done and just try to push to join the squad.”
As for the delay, Wright-Phillips had no real answer as to why his approval took so long to sort. “I am not sure,” he admits. “Spoke to my agent and he told me it’s getting sorted in another three days. Plus I had to go back, come back. It’s just a lot of things. I think it took a while because I wanted to get my family done at the same time. One of those things that takes time.”
Now that he is available, it will be up to Petke to find a place for him in the lineup.
“Wherever he is going to help,” he says. “Whether it happens to be up front or wide. Plain and simple. He’s got speed, likes to go forward and his goal record is good. In practice, he has a nose for the goal and has a goal for the reserve team. So it’s definitely a good option for us.”
“Anywhere attacking, I will go,” Wright-Phillips agrees. “Where the manager says to go, I will try and do the job. I like to play up front. I can play wing. I’ve played there for Southampton FC. Anyone of those places I will go.
“When I first came, (Petke) said up front or on the wings. Because I haven’t been eligible to play, we haven’t spoken much on that front but I am sure he’s got ideas.”