New York Red Bulls recruit Shaun Wright-Phillips revealed he only arrived in the city to attend his brother’s wedding as he prepares to debut for the MLS franchise.
Former England international winger Wright-Phillips was snapped up by the Red Bulls as a free agent at the start of week, re-united with brother Bradley in New York after he was released by QPR.
The Wright-Phillips brothers are now set to play on the same side for the first time since combining at Manchester City in 2004, when the Red Bulls travel to Eastern Conference rivals Philadelphia Union on Saturday.
Speaking at his unveiling, the 33-year-old Shaun said he was planning to return to England after his brother tied the knot.
“Like [coach] Jesse [Marsch] said, he called me at the airport and asked me to train to keep my fitness up and then it all just kind of fell into place,” he said.
“As much as I wanted to be here, the feeling was mutual between me, my team-mates and the coaching staff and I felt like I was in the family, which is how I felt when I was 19 and first started breaking through at Manchester City.
“So I’ve been very welcomed to be here and very humbled at the same time, so hopefully I can do what you guys expect me to do and help the Red Bulls win stuff.”
The Red Bulls are third in the East, nine points adrift of leaders DC United who host Real Salt Lake on the same day, while the Union are second-bottom in the conference.
New York City FC fans could see Frank Lampard make his long-awaited debut against Montreal Impact on Saturday.
A calf injury meant Lampard missed last week’s 5-3 win over Orlando City and Wednesday’s MLS All-Star clash against Tottenham.
But New York City coach Jason Kreis is optimistic about Lampard’s chances of running out at Yankee Stadium.
“I’ve said this every single week, but this time I think I can say that I actually feel it – he should be ready,” Kreis said.
The Impact, who occupy the sixth and final play-off place in the East ahead of New York City on goal difference, are expected to be without new signing and former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba for the trip to the Big Apple.
Elsewhere on Saturday, East’s second-place Columbus Crew are away at Orlando City, New England Revolution host Toronto FC with both teams level on points, and Houston Dynamo travel to Sporting Kansas City.
Reigning MLS Cup champions Los Angeles Galaxy tackle Colorado Rapids, and Seattle Sounders will be out to arrest a three-match losing streak when they entertain high-flying Vancouver Whitecaps in a Western Conference blockbuster.
West leaders FC Dallas are on the road against East cellar-dwellers Chicago Fire on Sunday, while San Jose Earthquakes face Portland Timbers.
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