Reports have characterized goalkeeper Richard Wright’s working vacation in San Jose as a week-long trial with the Earthquakes.
It might be more accurate to say that it’s MLS which is trialing for the former Arsenal, Everton and English National Team ‘keeper.
Wright has been practicing with the Quakes this week at the invitation of head coach Frank Yallop, who played alongside Wright for two seasons at Ipswich Town in England.
But while San Jose have been down a 'keeper ever since Joe Cannon broke his ankle last month and are using MLS pool ‘keeper Alex Horwath to back up Jon Busch, Yallop quickly squelched the idea that his team would be able to clear the kind of salary cap space necessary to sign Wright.
“He’s come to train for five days,” Yallop told MLSsoccer.com. “He’s not on trial. I know Richard really well. It’s just an opportunity to train with us. There’s nothing in it, at all.”
[inline_node:307325]Wright, who was released by Ipswich Town over the summer, had been training with Crystal Palace with an eye towards winning a job somewhere in the UK for the 2010-11 season. When those hopes were dashed, he decided to take Yallop up on his offer to come and visit.
“I’ve spoken to a few clubs back in England, and I’m still communicating with them,” Wright said. “I’d done the preseason. I was desperate to get playing at the start of the season. So now, a chance to come out here for a week, reflect, have a look around, see what it’s about here; it’s a great option.”
Wright was quick to compliment the level of talent on display at the Quakes’ training pitch, and pointed out that the recent influx of MLS imports was made up of players with several good years left.
“The players who are coming over here to play, they’re not coming at times when they’ve finished their career,” Wright said. “They see there’s an opportunity with a league that’s growing and there’s talent that’s coming through.
"People who do come here, like Thierry [Henry], they’re not finding it a walk in the park. They’re having to work hard for their job.”
There is one disappointment with Wright’s visit. Current Quakes who might have been hoping Wright would dish some good dirt on Yallop have come away empty-handed.
“I don’t think I can, no,” Wright said, pointing out that Yallop was already an established veteran when Wright joined Ipswich. “Frank was an older pro. He was always a player who’s great to have around the place, a great character with the boys.
Speaking to a few of the [Earthquakes] this morning, they love Frank, the way that he works. I think they’re trying to build something here. This training facility here is phenomenal.”
Geoff Lepper covers the Earthquakes for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @sjquakes