HANOVER, N.J. – At 30 years of age, Bradley Wright-Phillips appears to be putting an end to his senior international career before it even has a chance to start.
The Red Bulls’ English striker is one of the most lethal goal scorers in MLS, with an MLS-record-tying 27 goals in 2014. And so it’s no wonder that there’s a national team out there attempting to woo him into the international scene.
Although the English national team has had its struggles identifying a regular goal scorer outside of Wayne Rooney, the Three Lions are not the ones calling. Instead, thanks to his mother’s roots, the tiny Caribbean nation of Grenada is the nation inquiring about his services. After ousting Puerto Rico in Round 2 of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, the Spice Boys are set for a two-leg match-up against Haiti in Round 3 on Sept. 4 and Sept. 8.
With a population of just over 100,000, the Grenadian national team frequently enlists players born outside of the country, but who may have ancestry tracing back to Grenada. But Wright-Phillips does not appear to be interested in taking the plunge.
“I’m not too sure on international football,” Wright-Phillips told MLSsoccer.com. “I like to just play club football at the moment and I know I’m not getting any younger.”
Although his brother and Red Bulls teammate, Shaun, has enjoyed a successful career with the English national team highlighted by his selection to the 2010 World Cup squad, younger brother Bradley is wary of the obstacles that international call-ups present.
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“I don’t know if I want to travel to somewhere else to play a game and come back,” Wright-Phillips admitted. “Over here [in MLS], with the way the league is with games through the summer, you would miss a lot of important games so I don’t know if I really want to do that.”
Aside from Grenada, Wright-Phillips would also be eligible to represent Jamaica at the senior level due to his father’s ancestral connection to the country, as well as Trinidad and Tobago through similar family connections. But at this stage in his career, the yearning for international soccer has admittedly faded.
“When I was younger it used to interest me when I was playing for the England U-20s,” Wright-Phillips said. “Now I just want to focus on playing for the Red Bulls.”