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Get to Know USMNT Star Haji Wright: His Salary, Parents, and Rise to Success

Get to Know USMNT Star Haji Wright: His Salary, Parents, and Rise to Success

Amidst the excitement of the UEFA Champions League and with EURO 24 just around the corner, let it be a reminder that the CONCACAF Nations League semifinals are currently underway as we speak, and they have been honestly quite thrilling so far.

With the first semifinal on Thursday, the US Men’s National Team has already booked their place in the CONCACAF finals in a thrilling comeback victory. After trailing early in the match, the defending champions, scored the equalizer in the final moments of regulation time and then went further to score two more goals in extra time, all thanks to their 25-year-old striker, Haji Wright.

Haji Wright has been under some watchful eyes for quite some time. Playing for Coventry City, his last-minute goal was the reason why his club made it to the semifinals of the FA Cup, and now he has replicated that success with his national team. Even in the last World Cup, he was in discussions due to his performance for the USA, being tagged as the “silver lining” in their knockout game against the Netherlands.

With the FA Cup semifinal games against Manchester United, it’s inevitable that the striker would be under a lot of scrutiny by the scouts, with potential transfers in mind. However, having only recently joined Coventry City, they will not make the poaching of their striker that easy.

As a matter of fact, Haji joined the EFL Championship club Coventry City on August 4, 2023, on a four-year contract from the Turkish club Antalyaspor. According to Capology, the 25-year-old is currently earning a gross base salary of £1,300,000 for the 2023-2024 season, or £25,000 per week, and that’s not including bonuses. Any potential transfer would undoubtedly have to be discussed between the club and his agent. For those unaware, the player is managed by the international sports consultancy firm Quadrans, a joint venture between 11One and Atticus Sports Management.

Should such a transfer occur, it would indeed add another accolade for the American. And truth be told, he has played for a number of clubs in his career, so far.

Haji Wright’s parents and family

Born on March 27, 1998, Wright hails from Los Angeles, California, despite being of African American ethnicity. As a matter of fact, he comes from a real athletic family.

His father, Lloyd Wright, is of Ghanaian-American descent, while his mother, Serena Wright, hails from Liberia. Among his three siblings, his younger brother, Hanif Wright, has carved his path as a professional footballer, with stints at clubs such as Bonner SC, 1904 FC, SD Zest, and the New York Cosmos B team.

Additionally, his cousin brothers include Putu Joseph, who is an NFL American football player playing in the cornerback position for the Atlanta Falcons, and Nana Addai, who plays for Rhode Island Reds FC and has won various awards, including the 2016 National Premier Soccer League’s Golden Ball and Golden Boot. Notably, another cousin, Joseph Addai, was a former NFL running back and a winner of Super Bowl XLI with the Indianapolis Colts. He is also related to Isaac Nana Addai Gibson, a Liberian midfielder.

Haji Wright’s Career Graph So Far

Haji shared a passionate love for the game since a young age, and his football journey started, like most of us, from the living room of the house. He would carry the ball from the family’s Los Angeles backyard to the dining room table. They’d dribble the ball to the bedroom they shared, and that’s where the window would shatter. His mother recalls those restless days with his brother when they used to break all sorts of glasses in the house.

“They also broke a glass in the TV console,” his mother says. “And I was just livid each time.”

Maybe it was to save more glasses from breaking or to provide the right path for his passion that he was enrolled in the L.A. Galaxy academy, where he roomed with a fellow innocent teen named Christian Pulisic in U.S. Soccer’s residency program.

Following that, in March 2015, Wright officially signed with NASL club New York Cosmos for an undisclosed fee and contract length. However, things didn’t go as planned for him, and following the next season, he terminated the contract.

Reflecting on his time at NY Cosmos, where he played alongside older teammates, Wright remarked, “Playing with older players, five, six years ahead of you, is a completely different experience. Their technical ability and experience level are significantly higher.”

But that’s when doors started to open for the striker. Additionally, he received his first call-up at the age of 15 years to the USMNT Under-15 squad.

His then-coach, Gio Savarese, was surprised by his abilities at that tender age and said, “He’s very quick. He has great ability with his feet. He has a great shot when he doesn’t rush. He is able to connect with players. He’s dangerous on balls in the air. But he’s also a guy who can cause a lot of danger going forward, finding space, because of his pace and speed. So I think he’s got great tools at 17 years old. I think he needs to be a more steady player.”

After being scouted for some time by the Germans, Wright made a move to FC Schalke for their U-19 academy in 2016. He climbed up the academy ladder rather quickly to join their first team a year later. After a brief loan spell to SV Sandhausen and more than 50 games for Schalke in his tenure, he made a switch to the Netherlands for VVV-Venlo, an Eerste Divisie team, in a free transfer.

And that was the part that he would much rather forget. He played 22 Eredivisie games without scoring, but finally scored in the first round of the KNVB Cup, which turned out to be his only goal in 23 matches.

After being released by the Dutch club, within a year, in August 2020, Wright joined SønderjyskE on a free transfer, and that’s where he started to find his feet. He got off to a strong start in the league, with six goals in eight appearances by early November, and his performances led to him being named the Danish Superliga Player of the Month for October 2020. He went on to score 13 goals in 37 games for the Danish club. And that’s when the Turkish club Antalyaspor came calling.

After a brief loan and convincing spell, during which he played an impressive number of 64 games and scored 31 goals, Wright was signed permanently by Antalyaspor in 2022 on a three year deal. His performance with the club did not go unnoticed, as around the same time, Wright was called into the United States senior camp by Gregg Berhalter for a CONCACAF Nations League window. Haji then went on to represent the USA seven times at the senior level, including representing his country at the 2022 World Cup and scoring 2 goals.

But that spell, although quite impressive, didn’t last very long, as English football teams showed interest in him, with the striker finally moving on to the EFL Championship team, Coventry City. Bought in 2023 for a £7.7m fee on a four-year contract, the 193cm striker was the highest amount the team has ever paid for a player.

“He is a quick, powerful striker, and a very good finisher, who will add another exciting attacking dynamic to our play and clear quality to our squad,” is how his manager, Mark Robins, describes his striker. Maybe Mark forgot to add the versatility in there, with the striker having the potential to play anywhere up the top of the field.

The jersey number 11 has played 40 games for the club and scored 15 times. Expect quite a few more added by the time the season ends, and don’t be surprised if a number of them are headers, as the striker humorously said, “I hope I score more headers. I’m six foot four!”

Haji Wright’s FC 24 and FM 24 rating

Well, Haji has gained quite a few accolades in the top-tier league, and if you’re looking to add him to your FC 24 team, it’s surely worth a shot.

In FC 24, Haji has a decent rating of 73, with an impressive potential of 78. In the game, Haji possesses 2 Skill moves and 4 Weak Foot, he is Right-footed, and his work rates are Med/Low. His value is set at £3.58M, with a weekly wage of just £30.5K.

Moreover, in FM 24, the midfielder is rated at a decent 76. His value is set at £9 million with a weekly wage of £20K, and his scout potential report is labeled as ‘Almost Reached.’

But given his performance against Jamaica, that report is up for revision. Moreover, with the FA match coming up and the Euros just around the corner, he will have quite a role to play in the upcoming games. And who can say, maybe we might be looking at another potential transfer for the striker.