A Pipeline: The Red Bulls and Charlton Athletic

Phil Cole

The Red Bulls have a habit of picking up former Charlton Athletic players.

This afternoon, the Red Bulls signed former Charlton Athletic man Bradley Wright-Phillips.

Those two names -- Charlton and Wright-Phillips -- should ring some bells. Shaun Wright-Phillips is Bradley's much more talented half brother. As for Charlton, well, the Championship side has provided the Red Bulls with a number of players of the last two seasons.

In addition to Wright-Phillips, the Red Bulls have signed Lloyd Sam, who had a stint with Leeds United before making the jump across the Atlantic. Fellow midfielder Ruben Bover played with Charlton, too, before joining the Red Bulls in preseason.

Another similarity between the three: They were constant loanees at Charlton. Sam spent three seasons away from the London side, with Leyton Orient, Sheffield Wednesday and Southend United. Leeds also loaned Sam out to Notts County, where he met Luke Rodgers, who pumped up the Red Bulls to the speedy-but-oft-injured player. Bover bounced around England's lower leagues before being picked up by Charlton, who loaned him out to Segunda Division side San Roque de Lepe before he made his way to MLS.

And so with Wright-Phillips. He spent the second half of last season on loan with Brentford where he scored five goals in 15 appearances.

To add to the seeming coincidences between Charlton and the Red Bulls, Bover and Wright-Phillips were teammates. Both joined Charlton in 2011.

As the old saying goes, three times makes a trend. That would suggest some type of relationship between the teams, though I'm not sure I can think of any connections between the two. Any ideas?

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