Major League Soccer is back. Week One is in the books and there have been plenty of talking points, with 26 goals scored and five red cards in ten games. But one familiar face was missing from the action as Bradley Wright-Phillips and his New York Red Bulls team’s first game of the season isn’t until this coming weekend.
New York Red Bulls vs Portland Timbers – Saturday March 10 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)
As RBNY prepare to get their 2018 MLS campaign underway the pressure will be ramping up on goal-machine BWP. A lot is going to be expected from him this season due to some key creative players departing the club this winter, such as Mike Grella and Sacha Kljestan. Wright-Phillips will be looking forward to getting going and will be hoping to get off the mark straight away.
The Englishman won’t be looking into personal records too much, but he will be aware that he is closing in on 100 MLS goals, which will no doubt give him an added hunger to hit the ground running.
So how has BWP performed since joining RBNY in 2013?
The stats make for promising reading for both BWP breaking the record and for RBNY to have another positive season. Since joining in 2013 they have made the postseason every year. In a total of 154 games he has found the net 95 times for Red Bulls, with 86 of them coming in regular season play.
His goalscoring form over the last four seasons has been consistent. In 2013 he only featured in seven regular season games, hence the apparent low-scoring campaign. His 2014 tally of 27 saw him join the record books for the joint most goals in a single regular season, becoming the only non-US player to achieve that feat.
With the above stats in mind, ‘BWP’ needs just 14 regular season goals – or five goals if you count postseason stats – to notch his 100th, which based on his stats in each of his full seasons, he looks poised to achieve. Over the past four regular season campaigns he has averaged 21.25 goals per season.
So long as Wright-Phillips keeps to his consistent performances he will join the MLS 100 Club in 2018. But his main aim will be to continue to fight for an MLS Cup, something he is yet to achieve as he prepares to get underway for his sixth MLS season.
Will BWP net his 100th MLS goal this season and help RBNY to reach the playoffs again?