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Bradley Wright-Phillips: Could New York Red Bulls forward be the best MLS player ever?

[img]https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/onesport/cps/480/cpsprodpb/F95D/production/_101173836_bwp1.jpg" srcset="https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/onesport/cps/240/cpsprodpb/F95D/production/_101173836_bwp1.jpg 240w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/onesport/cps/320/cpsprodpb/F95D/production/_101173836_bwp1.jpg 320w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/onesport/cps/480/cpsprodpb/F95D/production/_101173836_bwp1.jpg 480w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/onesport/cps/624/cpsprodpb/F95D/production/_101173836_bwp1.jpg 624w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/onesport/cps/800/cpsprodpb/F95D/production/_101173836_bwp1.jpg 800w" sizes="(min-width: 900px) 50vw, (min-width: 600px) 70vw, 100vw" alt="Bradley Wright-Phillips" class="">
Bradley Wright-Phillips has scored 108 goals in AmericaWho are the best players to have graced Major League Soccer[/img]

"You could make an argument that he is the best player to ever play in this league, and the best goalscorer to play in this league," said Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch.Of English players in the top five European leagues, only Harry Kane has a better goal record than Wright-Phillips' since he moved to the US - and the Red Bulls star could add to that tally against New York FC on Saturday. It is a remarkable turnaround for a player who said "football came second" in the first stage of his career and admits he did not "respect" MLS when he arrived in the US.Wright-Phillips spoke to BBC Sport about failing to reach his potential in England, a New York gamble, Thierry Henry's advice, and the reason he would never return home to play.earns $1.5m a year[/i] (£1.1m), says the "lifestyle is better" in the USA.He gets recognised "sometimes" but is enjoying being away from the "hustle and bustle" of home."It's hard in England," he explains. "If I didn't score for three games, there was the chance someone would take my place or I would be loaned out."When I came here I took my time getting in the team and learned from people like Henry and just worked on my craft."He says being able to lean on the likes of Henry and spend time in New York and LA holds much more appeal than "playing away fixtures at AFC Wimbledon - no disrespect to them".So, too, does lining up against legends of the game such as World Cup winner David Villa at New York FC and Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Los Angeles Galaxy."Villa celebrates goals like he is in a Champion League final, he plays like it is his debut," Wright-Phillips says. "That is the thing that surprised me. I could never not work hard after seeing that."Wright-Phillips is now the Red Bulls' all-time record goal scorer and 11th in the league's all-time list, but says he thought "no-one would know or care" if he did well in MLS.He represented England Under-20s, but never made the step up to the senior team. An approach was made by Jamaica but it "did not work out".And what if England boss Gareth Southgate got in touch now? "Of course, I would be up for it."
[img]http://www.bbc.co.uk/data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP//yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7[/img]

Bradley played with brother Shaun at Manchester City and New York. Shaun, 36, last played at Phoenix Rising FC and is recovering from a knee operation.
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