New York Red Bulls add Bradley Wright-Phillips, what do we think?

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The New York Red Bulls today announced that striker Bradley Wright-Phillips has joined after a successful trial period.

Wright-Phillips, 28, has done the rounds in England after playing for Manchester City, Southampton, Plymouth Argyle, Charlton Athletic and Brentford.

The name may ring a bell, remember his older brother Shaun?

Anyway, the younger Wright-Phillips brother will add pace and a direct approach to Mike Petke’s attack as he aims to keep New York pushing forward in the second half of the Major League Soccer season.

Wright-Phillips has scored 80 goals in 302 appearances, not many for a striker you may be thinking. But Wright-Phillips can also play on the wing and in recent seasons with Charlton he’s been in good form in front of goal, scoring 31 times in 87 games for The Addicks.

Red Bulls Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh certainly expects Wright-Phillips so shine in MLS.

Since Bradley’s potential was first recognized by Manchester City and the England’s Under-20 side, he has proved to be a goal scorer of note, whether playing up front or as a winger. We are delighted to sign him. He will certainly add another dimension to our roster with his pace and technical ability.

That’s what the Red Bulls think, but is the jury still out for most soccer fans? Probably. I’ll be very interested to see how he does, his pace and instinctive finishing is top notch but his ability to grab a game by the scruff of the neck is questionable at best.

Like I said, I’m intrigued to see how Wright-Phillips gets on.

Not least because I was constantly nicknamed “Joe Wright-Phillips” throughout my playing days — not because we had similar soccer abilities, trust me, but due to our somewhat similar last names — I’ve always kept a keen eye on Wright-Phillips and his brother Shaun.

(MORE: ProSoccerTalk’s Weekly MLS rankings)

Both have had up and down careers, as Bradley became the “Coca-Cola kid” at Southampton, after they won a cash prize from the beverage company to spend on a player. They chose Wright-Phillips and that nickname has stuck down on the South Coast.

But he has also been involved in some unsavory incidents over the years, as Wright-Phillips and Swansea City’s Nathan Dyer were alleged to have stolen a barmaids bag at a nightclub amongst other issues. While Shaun shone at Manchester City but a big money move to Chelsea curtailed his career, after playing for England, and know he plays for QPR.

Anyway, having watched Bradley’s career closely, scoring regularly in the Championship and League One in England was never difficult for him. Coming off the bench and making an impact is also his thing and his step-father, England and Arsenal legend Ian Wright, has certainly taught him how to finish.

Can he cut it with New York? It depends how much playing time he gets with Thierry Henry and Fabian Espindola developing a partnership and the rest of the Red Bulls line up very settled. However Espindola has certainly been goal-shy, with just four goals in 19 games this season.

Wright-Phillips be a great impact player off the bench to nick a late goal. Maybe that’s just what New York need going into the final few months of the season with the playoffs looming.

Aguero involved in clash with Wigan fan after FA Cupset

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MANCHESTER, England (AP) Sergio Aguero was involved in a confrontation with a Wigan fan as ugly scenes marred the end of the third-division side’s shock FA Cup win over Manchester City on Monday.

[ MORE: Wigan shock Man City, the world and themselves ]

Fans spilled on to the pitch at DW Stadium as the host celebrated its 1-0 fifth-round win against the runaway English Premier League leader.

Supporters from both clubs were involved in disturbances, while television pictures appeared to show a home supporter and striker Aguero involved in a physical exchange.

Aguero appeared to hit the supporter after the fan said something to the player, and Aguero had to be held back by his City teammates.

[ MORE: Money from Wembley replay “will support Rochdale for 2 or 3 years” ]

Advertising hoardings were also ripped out and thrown as a pitch invasion by Wigan fans got out of hand while the defeated City players were being escorted off the pitch.

Footage also appeared to show objects, including an advertising board, being thrown at police officers by fans in the City end.

Wigan shock themselves: “Not sure how it feels, hasn’t sunk in yet”

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Wigan Athletic didn’t just shock Manchester City with their FA Cup fifth-round slaying of the runaway Premier League leaders; nor did they merely shock the rest of the footballing world; they also shocked themselves into disbelief, according to defender Dan Burn.

[ MORE: Goodbye, quadruple! Wigan bounce 10-man City from FA Cup ]

Speaking following Monday’s triumph over Pep Guardiola‘s quadruple-chasing side at the DW Stadium, Burn admitted he himself didn’t know what to make of the night that would undoubtedly highlight and change his own professional career — quotes from the BBC:

“Not sure how it feels, hasn’t sunk in yet. It was a really tough game. The belief was always there. We’ve got Will Grigg, who does what he keeps doing.

“We pride ourselves on our clean sheets. We had a couple bad results before, so we wanted to prove ourselves, so a clean sheet against the best team in England is great.

“Once we scored, the fans really got behind us, just knew we needed to hang on. It was the longest 10 minutes of my life.”

[ MORE: Money from Wembley replay “will support Rochdale for 2 or 3 years” ]

Manager Paul Cook was able to articulate his happiness and pride only slightly better — “It feels great” — but offered the highest of praises to his players, whom “had to ride [their] luck at times” during the game, and gave everything they had to the cause, because that’s the only way you beat a team like Man City:

“It feels great. It’s such a severe test. They’re such a strong side and move the ball so well. We had to ride our luck at times and the sending off is always a big incident.

“Our lads deserve credit for their work and some of the blocks they made were outstanding, and to beat Man City you have to do that.”

Goodbye, quadruple! Wigan bounce 10-man City from FA Cup

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Manchester City’s quest for the historic quadruple is over after Pep Guardiola‘s 10-man side was shocked by League One side Wigan Athletic in the fifth round of the FA Cup at the DW Stadium on Monday.

[ MORE: Money from Wembley replay “will support Rochdale for 2 or 3 years” ]

Will Grigg scored the game’s only goal, a late winner after the home side had been thoroughly outplayed and out-possessed for 78 minutes. With 45 places currently standing between them in the English football pyramid — and Man City garnering “best of all time” consideration — “upset” doesn’t even begin to describe Monday’s result.

On the other hand, City represent the third Premier League side knocked out of this season’s FA Cup at the hands of Wigan: Bournemouth, in the third round; followed by West Ham United, in the fourth.

City were reduced to 10 men during first-half stoppage time, when Fabian Delph went flying in on Max Power as the two contested a 50-50 ball inside Wigan’s defensive third. Referee Anthony Taylor initially withdrew his yellow card from his pocket, but protests from the aggrieved party appeared to change Taylor’s mind, and Delph was off.

Prior to Deplh’s dismissal, Wigan had done well  enoughto hold their own against the runaway PL leaders. The Latics had a pair of half-chances, most notably through Grigg in the 12th minute, that could have easily gone their way. Much of the play, though, as is to be expected, was controlled by City (first-half possession: 82 percent), though Guardiola’s men were unable to break through before going a man down.

Still, the share of possession remain unchanged throughout the entirety of the second half, as City patiently probed and used possession as their best means of defense… until the 79th minute arrived.

[ MORE: Man Utd draw Brighton in FA Cup QF; Chelsea get Leicester ]

The ball was played back to Kyle Walker, into space; rather than receiving the ball at first opportunity, Walker let it run on as he prepared to play it back to Claudio Bravo; Grigg saw his opening and pounced quickly; his first touch used his body to shield Walker from the ball, and his second set up the shot; Grigg went for the far post, curling the ball around Bravo and nestling it just inside the post.

Wigan will now host another PL side, Southampton, in the quarterfinals.

Barry Bennell jailed 30 years for abusing young players

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LIVERPOOL, England (AP) A former English youth soccer coach was jailed Monday for 30 years for abusing 12 young footballers after the judge called him the “devil incarnate.”

Barry Bennell, a former coach at Crewe and scout for Manchester City, was convicted at Liverpool Crown Court of 50 child sexual offenses committed between 1979 and 1991.

“Your behavior towards these boys in grooming and seducing them before subjecting them to, in some cases, the most most serious, degrading and humiliating abuse was sheer evil,” Judge Clement Goldstone told the 64-year-old Bennell.

Bennell looked at the floor and nodded as the judge sentenced him. Some members of the public began to applaud as he was sent down, but were stopped by the judge.

Goldstone said Bennell had appeared to his victims as a God.

“In reality, you were the devil incarnate,” the judge added. “You stole their childhoods and their innocence to satisfy your own perversion.”

Goldstone said Bennell’s abuse had destroyed the enthusiasm his victims had for playing football and had led to them suffering problems including suicidal thoughts, alcoholism and depression.

Bennell has already served three jail terms, totaling 15 years, for similar offenses involving 16 other victims in England and the United States.