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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.

Pep Guardiola: “Maybe I’m not good enough”

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Pep Guardiola has admitted he “may not be good enough” for his players at Manchester City.

Ahead of City’s clash against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com) Guardiola has been defended his squad after severe criticism from the media.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

City were hammered 4-0 at Everton last weekend, their worst league defeat since 2008 and Guardiola’s worst-ever league defeat as a manager.

With plenty pointing the finger of blame at goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and City’s defense, their manager put himself in the firing line.

“They are good players. I have respect for the guys, so why would I say the guys are not good? So I don’t understand the lack of respect for the professionals when they have been amazing players, and [people saying] they are not good enough for me. Maybe I am not good enough for them,” Guardiola said. “They are Manchester City players, top players. They have a lot of quality. They have shown that many times in the past and this season.”

Mind games.

Guardiola, 46, is no doubt facing the biggest challenge of his season as City look to at least seal a top four spot in this his debut season in England. The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager has already “said goodbye to the title” and if they lose against red-hot Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium then more questions will be asked of his tactics and if they can work in the Premier League.

So far the possession-based slow build up style has been hot and cold for City, with plenty of counter-attacking teams in the PL (Chelsea, Spurs, Everton, Leicester etc.) having a field day against a shaky defense.

Despite being 10 points off the pace, Guardiola is sticking by his philosophy. One thing really sticks out to me from his first few press conferences in England: “We will see if my style of play can work in the Premier League.”

So far, it’s not.

Watch Live: Liverpool vs. Swansea City (Lineups, Stream)

SWANSEA, WALES - MARCH 16:  Kyle Naughton of Swansea City is closed down by Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Liverpool at Liberty Stadium on March 16, 2015 in Swansea, Wales.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
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Liverpool host Swansea City to Anfield on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) with the Reds aiming to stretch their unbeaten run at home in the Premier League to 18 games.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE HERE

Jurgen Klopp is a little concerned with the number of games his team have had to play over the past few weeks, but a victory against the struggling Swans would momentarily move his side just four points behind leaders Chelsea who play on Sunday.

As for Swansea, new manager Paul Clement knows a win would take his team out of the relegation zone and with new signings arriving that would be a massive boost. It would also be a massive ask for the Welsh side to get anything at Anfield but this may be a good time to play Liveprool after their midweek trip to Plymouth in the FA Cup and the EFL Cup semifinal second leg against Southampton coming up on Wednesday.

In team news Liverpool start with Philippe Coutinho once again, while Joel Matip is on the bench after the Reds finally settled the dispute with Cameroon. Swansea hand debuts to new signings Martin Olsson and Tom Carroll.

LINEUPS

Liverpool: Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Klavan, Milner; Can, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino. Subs: Karius, Sturridge, Moreno, Lucas, Origi, Matip, Woodburn

Swansea City: Fabianski; Olsson, Mawson, Fernandez, Naughton; Cork, Carroll, Fer; Sigurdsson, Llorente, Routledge. Subs: Nordfeldt, Rangel, Amat, Fulton, Dyer, Borja, McBurnie

Viktoria Plzen set to sign midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz

Obafemi Martins, Oniel Fisher, Andreas Ivanschitz
Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)
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PRAGUE (AP) Czech champion Viktoria Plzen is close to signing Austrian midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz.

Plzen says Ivanschitz agreed terms for a contract lasting 1 + seasons and will sign it when the team returns from a training camp in Spain. Ivanschitz has already joined the squad at the Oliva Nova resort, the club says.

Ivanschitz helped the Seattle Sounders win their first MLS Cup in December.

[ NEW HOMES: Fonte | Berahino ]

No financial details were given.

The 33-year-old Ivanschitz also played for Rapid Vienna and Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, Mainz in the Bundesliga, Levante in Spain and Panathinaikos in Athens.

Ivanschitz played 69 games for Austria in 2003-14, scoring 12 goals.

FIFA allows Matip to represent Liverpool during AFCON

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29: Joel Matip of Liverpool heads to score his team's third goal during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool at Selhurst Park on October 29, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images
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Joel Matip is going to get to play for Liverpool during AFCON after all.

The center back had turned down the chance to represent Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations, and Liverpool was forced to apply to FIFA for a waiver.

[ PL PREVIEW: Swansea vs. Liverpool ]

Matip suffered an ankle injury in December, adding to his desire to stay at Anfield. He declared himself internationally retired and was one of six Cameroon players who refused call-ups for AFCON.

He last played for the Reds on Dec. 11, and can be selected by Jurgen Klopp against Swansea City on Saturday.