HANOVER, N.J. – It turns out that Sean Wright-Phillips isn’t the only legendary European soccer player hanging around the New York Red Bulls recently. On Wednesday, Spanish legend Andoni Zubizarreta was in town and took in a training session.
Zubizarreta, who was let go as sporting director at Spanish giants Barcelona earlier this year, roamed among the practice fields on Wednesday, one day after the Red Bulls scored a 3-0 win over the Atlanta Silverbacks to advance in the U.S. Open Cup. He saw nearly an entire session of training which consisted of mainly second team players and reserves as the starters had a regeneration session following Tuesday night’s win.
There was also a meeting with Red Bulls sporting director Ali Curtis, who, ironically, took the job in New York just days before Zubizarreta was let go at Barcelona. Zubizarreta is a former goalkeeper at Barcelona who made 125 appearances for the Spanish national team as well. He was considering one of the world’s best goalkeepers during his playing days.
As for Wright-Phillips, the Englishman once again trained with the team on Wednesday after the club said on Monday that he was here just for fitness. The former English international was in the area for his brother Bradley’s wedding this past weekend.
Bradley is now in his second full season with the Red Bulls after scoring a league-leading 27 goals last year. That tally was tied for the best in MLS history.
Last offseason was rife with speculation that the two brothers would be re-united in MLS and that Sean’s preferred destination was the Red Bulls. Instead, he stayed in England and made four appearances for Queens Park Rangers.