Bradley Wright-Phillips ‘very interested’ in playing for Jamaica
Jamaica approached New York Red Bulls striker Bradley Wright-Phillips about playing for the Reggae Boyz in the fall, and he resisted, but that doesn't mean the door is shut on a future at the international level for him with the CONCACAF side.
Wright-Phillips told SI's Planet Futbol Podcast that he is "very interested" in potentially representing Jamaica, for which the 31-year-old London-born forward is eligible through his grandmother. Wright-Phillips, who played in England's youth system, has not yet completed the paperwork that would clear him to suit up for Winfried Schafer's squad, and he says it's all on him to do so.
"I spoke to them a few times. It's not them, they've been amazing," Wright-Phillips said. "It was me, actually, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do in terms of international football. Over here our season works different. It's a lot of games to play in and sometimes it takes you out, you're gone during the season. But if I'm being honest I'm very interested in maybe playing for them at one stage, but it's on my half. I've got to sort out my documents and everything. When I spoke to them I haven't had everything there to give to them when I've needed it. It's just a case of me sorting out some things, and then, once I've got the option to play when I've sorted out my papers, that's when I'll make that decision, but it's something that does interest me."
(Wright-Phillips's response begins at the 41:41 mark of our episode)
Wright-Phillips has been keeping an eye on Copa America, where Jamaica plays Mexico Thursday night following its 1-0 loss to Venezuela to open the tournament. Rodolph Austin was sent off in the first half, and Jamaica hit the post a couple of times before succumbing to La Vinotinto and hampering its chances of advancing.
"The Jamaica one was a bit disheartening," Wright-Phillips said. "The sending-off (to Rodolph Austin) killed them. It's going to be very tough for them now. They need to win. That red card ... it could've ruined their chances."
Jamaica is off to a 1-2-1 start in the semifinal round of CONCACAF 2018 World Cup qualifying, three points out of a place that would put it in the hexagonal with two games to go. It's three group opponents, Costa Rica, Panama and Haiti, are all participating in Copa America.
After totaling 44 goals in his last two seasons with the Red Bulls, Wright-Phillips has scored eight goals in 14 matches in 2015, including five in his last two.