American soccer player Haji Wright hopes to make an impact for FC Schalke 04 of the German Bundesliga next season.
USA TODAY Sports
LOS ANGELES – This is a funny time of year for the European sports tabloids. Starved of their steady diet of soccer action to write and gossip about, many fill part of their pages with gleaming photos of the game’s superstars on their summer vacations, glitzy photos of yachts and jet skis taken everywhere from Dubai to the Greek Islands and even Los Angeles.
Haji Wright, a young American forward trying to make his name in those esteemed circles, was in L.A. this week too, but there was nothing glamorous about his Tuesday morning experience.
At a private gym tucked between the Santa Monica Freeway and a Meals on Wheels base, Wright and his younger brother Hanif were sprinting on a treadmill’s maximum incline at its top speed – 15% gradient at 12.4 mph – while performance coach Nicky Holender yelled encouragement.
“Chasing,” Wright managed to gasp out when asked…