Wright-Phillips: Dodgers’ fan, yes; Giants, no

Shaun Wright-Phillips dribbles past a Club America defender Saturday at AT&T Park.

SAN FRANCISCO– Behind the Giants’ dugout at AT&T Park are a flight of stairs leading up to presumably the clubhouse. That is where the Manchester City Football Club, an English Premier  League team, was housed Saturday night.

Following their 2-0 win in a friendly match against Club America, down the steps and out through the dugout they went to  an awaiting bus that would deliver them to SFO and a flight to Vancouver where they will play the Whitecaps on Monday night.

As they came down those steps, many, not all, of them were sporting new baseball caps emblazoned with “San Francisco Giants World Champions” lettering. Presumably the caps were gifts of the Giants or the promoters of this three-match Summer Tour they are on which is dubbed the 2011 Herbalife World Football Challenge. The results of the matches don’t really matter much, this is spring training for MCFC.

Shaun Wright-Phillips is a midfielder for the Blues. He wasn’t sporting a Giants cap as he left. “Actually I’m a Dodgers’ fan,”  he said laughing.

Wright-Phillips, all 5-foot-5 of him, is a blur on the soccer pitch. Quick, fast,

“The field was good, a little slippery, incredible skills. He scored one of the two MCFC goals on Saturday smacking a shot from his right  across his body to the left and into the corner of the goal which was positioned about where first base usually resides atAT&TPark.

“The field wasn’t perfect, but it was good,” he said of the makeshift pitch which was constructed last week for this one-time event. Sod over the infield, pitching mound gone. But not to worry it’s all back today.

The British journalists following the team skewered Wright-Phillips about trade rumors and his desire to remain with the Blues. He said he wants to remain inManchesterand that he’s fine with being there.

I wondered – despite his Dodger loyalty – how he would fit in in a Giants uniform. “Maybe when I’m through with soccer I’ll become a base-stealer,” he said laughing.

Now if he can just get on base I bet he’d be standing on third before you could say Wright-Phillips.