It's never too late to keep improving your craft.
It's not just that the 35-year-old is producing at his new club, with three goals in three matches at the MLS is Back Tournament. It's how he's approaching the goal, with a continuous focus of resisting the urge to exist primarily as a back-to-goal target. Bradley particularly pointed out his most recent goal in a 2-2 draw with the Portland Timbers.
"I liked the way he moved away from the defender and faced the goal," Bradley said of that goal, Wright-Phillips' third in an LAFC jersey. "I’m on him a lot to make sure he’s not just playing with his back up against the defenders. All attackers have to move off defenders, turn their hips and face the goal. Those are small things that a really smart attacker like Brad picks up and works on. He came in with a great attitude not only with his teammates but also to understand some of the things we talk about and trying to improve as a player."
Watch: Bradley Wright-Phillips scores stunning goal against Portland
Wright-Phillips went 67 minutes against Portland after playing 71 minutes in a 6-2 blowout victory over the LA Galaxy. And Bradley believes he could still be a striker capable of playing long enough to grab a game-changing goal late in an important match, such as Monday night's round of 16 match against the Seattle Sounders (11 pm ET | FS1, FOX Deportes in US; TUDN, TSN in Canada) in the MLS is Back Tournament.
“He continues to build up his fitness,” he said. “Let’s see how the game goes. But in a big match I think he’s capable of going further than he has so far.”
As far as how the New York Red Bulls' all-time leading goal scorer has fit in with his new teammates? There was never a doubt, Bradley said.
“Brad’s an excellent guy from the beginning,” he said. “Players respected the way he came in every day, the way he trained. He’s also a personable guy. He gets along with people. He’s humble. In all those ways you could tell from the beginning he’d be someone everyone would appreciate. On the field his abilities when he gets around the goal are very special."