With 91 career goals in his Major League Soccer career, striker Bradley Wright-Phillips has proven himself a prolific player for the New York Red Bulls. But his performance last night against the LA Galaxy shows he is a utility player, doing the dirty work when necessary.
Bradley Wright-Phillips: Quiet Power for the New York Red Bulls
Two Assists for Two Nines
Wright-Phillips was credited with both assists on the night (Daniel Royer 7′ and Florian Valot 49′). In previous seasons, he would have been in the middle to receive the ball, as he did against Minnesota United from midfielder Alex Muyl. More recent games have seen Wright-Phillips outside the box, making the cross for other strikers to use. While Royer has missed opportunities this season, Wright-Phillips has not stopped the supply of balls to the Austrian. Royer’s first goal of the season was a long time coming, and Wright-Phillips helped make it happen.
Anyone who speaks to Wright-Phillips knows that he does not seek out the spotlight. He came into the 2018 season more fit and wanting to fit in more. When asked about his value with the assists, Wright-Phillips insisted that he’s just doing his part. “Anywhere I can help really. I think it is something I’ve tried to work on, I’ve wanted to do that more and I didn’t just want to be about a goal and so far it has been alright.” In a team where the system is the star, Wright-Phillips can shine when necessary… and recognize when it isn’t necessary.
More to Come?
With the trade that sent previous captain Sacha Kljestan to Orlando City, the Red Bulls must look elsewhere for their assists. Midfielder Sean Davis is an obvious choice, and he has tallied an assist already this season. But with the wealth of attackers available to RBNY (including homegrown player Derrick Etienne Jr. and Argentine Designated Player Kaku), assists may fall to Wright-Phillips at the same rate as goals in 2018. He is on track to hit the century mark in MLS goals this season, putting him in the top 10 of all-time MLS goalscorers. It may take longer, but that doesn’t seem to bother Wright-Phillips. What matters to him is team results: “It was a great start; I think that is what we wanted to do.”