Top Stories

Jamaica hoping to recruit Bradley Wright-Phillips ahead of next World Cup qualifiers

Bradley Wright-Phillips New York Red Bulls 77

Photo by Danny Wild/USA Today Sports


Bradley Wright-Phillips might not have an interest in playing for Grenada at the international level, but there is a chance he could suit up for another CONCACAF nation in the not too distant future.

Jamaica has began the process of trying to recruit Wright-Phillips ahead of its upcoming World Cup qualifiers in November. The 30-year-old Wright-Phillips was born in England, but has roots that trace back to Jamaica and make him eligible to play for the Reggae Boyz.

The Jamaican Football Federation reached out to the New York Red Bulls’ star striker back in August to gauge his interesting in playing for them, and Wright-Phillips is allegedly considering it by talking it over with his family.

“Yes, we have reached out to Bradley Wright-Phillips,” Jamaica team manager Roy Simpson told The Gleaner.

“Both parties agreed that it is OK to pursue the paperwork just in case he decides to take up the offer.”

Wright-Phillips, whose brother and father both played for England, has been one of the top scorers in MLS since joining the league back in 2013. He has 41 goals in 61 appearances for the Red Bulls, and tied the league’s single-season scoring record last season with 27 tallies.

The Reggae Boyz are hoping to be able to add Wright-Phillips to an attacking stable that already includes a fellow England-born attacker in Giles Barnes. Darren Mattocks and Deshorn Brown are other top forward threats that Jamaica head coach Winfried Schafer has at his disposal.

Jamaica is currently in the midst of trying to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. The Jamaicans just squeaked by Nicaragua, 4-3, on aggregate earlier this month to advance to the CONCACAF semifinal round. Jamaica first faces off against Panama in that round on Nov. 13.

Wright-Phillips – who has Jamaica international Kemar Lawrence as a teammate on the Red Bulls – has no set deadline by which he has to make a decision.

Earlier this year, Wright-Phillips turned down the chance to play Grenada, stating that he wanted to focus on the Red Bulls. The forward, who has 14 goals and seven assists so far this season, also said he was not sure if he wanted to play international soccer.


What do you think about Jamaica’s interest in Wright-Phillips? Should he jump at the chance to play international soccer? Do you see him playing for the Reggae Boyz? How would he fare in CONCACAF?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I don’t think recruiting was a very good choice of words, unless the author disagrees with his eligibility, in which case I think it’s a great choice.

    Personally, I think that FIFA needs to eliminate the clause in which you are able to play for a country that one of your grandparents were a citizen in. 1st generation at the most, you should not be able to go past your parents when looking for eligibility.

    • Recruiting may not be an appetizing word, but its probably accurate. Jamaica certainly knows his comments on Grenada and need to sway him to play. Its not like he said bribe or entice. The word recruiting doesn’t have negative meaning.

    • Considering the old laws allowed anyone with a passport to play, including grandparents is a decent compromise. Especially when you consider many countries allow passports based on a grandparent’s citizenship (very limited in the US).

      But current rules mean you have situations like Desevio Payne. He’s eligible to play for the US because he was born here with a naturalized citizen father, but his younger brothers aren’t.

      • BR

        Even they though moved to Holland permanently, did Payne’s dad retain his US passport?

        If he did Payne’s younger siblings could eventually claim US citizenship and therefore eligibility to play for the USMNT could they not?

  2. He’d make Jamaica better then the US, if they aren’t already. If anything happens to Dempsey we honestly might even struggle to make the Hex.

    • Or they could develop their own players instead of poaching them from other countries. Of course this applies to the US as well. Now doubt people will attack me now for insinuating that BWP is not a fully fledged, true-blue, Jamaican. I’m not sure why people defend this nonsense.

      • i didn’t really like the tone given by the author’s use of “recruited” but I am curious to see if all the people complaining about “Germericans” also recognize that the same thing is happening here.

      • This sort of thing has been happening with the English for a long time.

        Tony Dorigo , a Leeds Fullback and winner of one England cap was born in Australia:

        “Dorigo was initially called up by Australia for the 1986 World Cup qualifying campaign. However Aston Villa manager Tony Barton refused Dorigo permission to travel. Barton felt that playing for Australia would be a waste of time for Dorigo as their opponents were generally weaker opposition from Oceania.

        The Football Association approached Dorigo to represent England: “England came along and asked me to play for them if I hung around for another year and got my British citizenship,” says Dorigo. “My father was Italian and my mother was Australian, so I have no English parentage at all. What I say to my English friends today is that ‘you lot were so bad you needed an Aussie to come and play for you!’ It was very different back then to what it is now – the players in the Premier League today fly all over the world to play for their countries. They just did not allow that to happen in my day.”

        Then of course there was Craig Johnston:

        “Craig Peter Johnston (born 25 June 1960) is a South African-born Australian former footballer and he is forever remembered by his fellow countrymen as one of the first Australians to make a big stamp in English and European football. He is remembered for his time spent with Liverpool throughout the 1980s. After retiring, he designed and created the prototype for Adidas’ Predator football boot, worn by many footballers and rugby players.

        Johnston was approached by Jock Stein in the early 1980s with a view to him playing for Scotland as he was eligible through his father. Johnston declined Stein’s offer and also resisted calls to play for his country Australia in 1981 and 1984. He instead chose to represent England at under-21 and ‘B’ team level.

        Early in his career in England he had described playing football for Australia as “like surfing for England.”

        Craig was also eligible to represent the South African national side due to being born there but was never approached or offered by the South African federation to play for them.
        Johnston was called up to the full England squad in November 1987[16] but did not make an appearance at that level.”

      • That kid Janusjai (sp?) is supposedly eligible for 3 or 4 different countries. I have seen players who play because of where their grandparents were born. The rulese are definitely loose and a little crazy. The US is actually more stringent than a number of other countries.

      • Slow, Raheem Sterling is Jamaican. He was born in Jamaica and moved to London. I am 100% sure that is why Beto brought him up. So your comment was out of place on this one.

        “Sterling’s international career coincided with the introduction of the ‘home nations agreement’. It was not until September 2009 that FIFA agreed to the proposals by the English, Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh Football Associations to update the agreement, allowing players who were educated in their nation for five years or more to become eligible for their national team.”

        “When speaking of the possibility of playing for Jamaica, Sterling said: ‘When it comes to that decision, that is when I will decide, but if Jamaica calls for me, why not?'”

        Of course he ended up playing for the bigger country.

      • He did move when he was seven, so I think that was Slows reason to comment that they need to develop their own players. A comment he does often make about the US. Just came off more harsh than it needed to.

      • Some of us think that national and cultural self-identity are more complex notions than you, particularly when you have parents of multiple nationalities. That FIFA permits that consideration, with reasonable limits, is a good thing. Besides, this is pervasive in international football — there are countless examples over the years, including prominent players that make BWP or the Germericans look like bar team players. For example, Diego Costa doesn’t even pretend to be Spanish now. I understand your notion that a National Team should reflect development of the game in that country. But does that mean Messi plays for Spain? Or Deco for Brazil rather than Portugal? Should Rossi not have been allowed to play for Italy? You complain a lot about this. What rule would you impose that solves your problem while leaving room for players to self-identify culturally? Or is that simply not a value you want reflected in the game? Fight for a shirt you don’t really believe in?

      • I think slow acknowledges that it is difficult to fashion a different set of rules that are sufficiently strict but don’t seem arbitrary. The objection to the current system is more philosophical. But the real world demands line-drawing.

    • It’s complicated, suffering from population issues after the world wars, England called upon many West Indies guest workers who didn’t necessarily get full citizen immigration status.

      Also, the Home Nations have their goofy little agreement about who can play for what country that is more strict than FIFA. As a result Nacho Novo can play in Scotland for years, get a passport, but still not play for Scotland.

  3. Nicaragua manager:

    “They are who we thought they were! That’s why we took the darn field! Now if you want to crown them, then crown their as$! But they are who we thought they were! And we let ’em off the hook!”


Leave a Comment