Ten Best: Metro Brits
SWP and BWP
April 24, 2020
When (If?) Mandela Egbo ever suits up for Metro, he will become the 12th player in team history from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. So, here's your top 10!
The one left off? The lone Scotsman to play for Metro, Peter Canero. (The clown Alexi Lalas claimed that he represented "a significant upgrade to our flank play". A complete bust who started just twice, the one-time Scottish international never played professionally again after being laughed out of MLS.)
10) Richard Eckersley (England), 2014
Eckersley once played for Manchester United. For Metro, he lost his starting right back job early in the season, somehow regained it in the playoffs, and was the weak link on a team that was a goal away from MLS Cup. After retiring from soccer, opened a vegan food store, which is probably a better use of his time.
9) John Rooney (England), 2011
Played five league games, but never started. Scored a goal in the US Open Cup against minor-league FCNY. Did not wear hair plugs.
8) Carl Robinson (Wales), 2010-11
The only Welshman in Metro history didn't do much in his two years (13 games, just three starts), but did score a goal against Toronto. He also helped Mike Petke coach the Open Cup game in Chicago when "Clever" Hans Backe decided to stay home. Metro lost 4:0.
7) Shaun Wright-Phillips (England), 2015-16
Big brother Shaun joined young brother Bradley in 2015, and after the two linked up for a goal on his debut, we thought brotherly love will blossom. It didn't, as Shaun started just two league games (six in overall) in his year and a half with Metro. That assist proved to be his only one for Metro, but he did score against Toronto and played a role in the 2015 Shield run. The only one on this list who played in the World Cup.
6) Josh Sims (England), 2019-
The only Metro to ever score his first goal in a playoff game... which turned to a loss when Sims exited with an injury. We liked what he brought last year, but who knows what this half-year loan he is currently on will turn to due to the current season suspension.
5) Paul Dougherty (England), 1998
The man nicknamed "Pee Wee" actually played in the English top flight a long time before the Premier League was created... for Wolverhampton in 1984. A switch to a America and a lengthy tour in the indoor game followed, where the 5'3" Dougherty excelled. He signed with Metro in 1998, and was arguably the team's MVP through the first half of the season, scoring three goals and adding nine assists. But Tab Ramos and Marcelo Vega returned from the World Cup, and Dougherty was traded to Tampa Bay for Mike Duhaney. He proceeded to have a productive MLS career with three other clubs.
4) Jonny Steele (Northern Ireland), 2013-14
Plucked from Salt Lake for a little more than a ham sandwich (a 3rd round pick), the only Northern Irishman in Metro history started 32 league games during their Shield-winning campaign in 2013... and, of course, scored the last Metro goal in the 5:2 clincher. He even earned a national team call-up due to his Metro play.
3) Luke Rodgers (England), 2011
Arguably the best single-season player in team history, Rodgers was plucked out by Backe from his old stomping grounds at Notts County. Not much was expected from someone whose best showings came in League Two, but none of those teams had Titi Henry. The Frenchman helped Rodgers blossom, as he scored 10 goals in an injury-shortened year. Perhaps the biggest cult hero in team history, never the one to back down from a confrontation, he would have stayed longer if not for visa issues. He also famously told Landon Donovan to stop yapping.
2) Lloyd Sam (England), 2012-16
Proof that we shouldn't judge midseason signings until they get an offseason under their belt: Sam was pedestrian when he came on board in 2012. A year later, he took five shots on goal... and scored on all of them, including one that turned out to be the Shield winner. His totals in all competitions stood at 126 games, 24 goals, 26 assists. Capped once for Ghana, but obviously English.
1) Bradley Wright-Phillips (England), 2013-19
Is BWP the best Brit in MLS history? Yes.