MLSGB’s final MLS Goal of the Week for 2014 Season

The 2014 MLS regular season came to an end on Sunday night, after what has been another thrilling year of soccer.

Seattle Sounders clinched the MLS Supporters’ Shield with a 2-0 win over LA Galaxy, while Vancouver sealed the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with a 1-0 win at home to the Colorado Rapids.

The playoffs await now, as the drama looks set to continue right up to the MLS Cup on December 7.

Our final Goal of the Week award goes to the man who equalled the MLS single season goalscoring record with this strike in the final game of the season – Bradley Wright-Phillips.

The Red Bulls striker got his 27th of the season thanks to a brace against Sporting Kansas City, and although he couldn’t break the record, he tied it with this fine individual goal that sums up his tireless work rate:

Wright-Phillips won the Golden Boot for his achievements this year, but his Red Bull teammates must now prepare to host Kansas City in the Eastern Conference knockout round game on Thursday night.

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Bradley Wright-Phillips cements place in MLS history with tied goalscoring record

Bradley Wright-Phillips made history on Sunday as he fired himself in to the record books by becoming the joint highest goalscorer in an MLS season.

His brace in Kansas helped New York Red Bulls to a 2-0 win and in the process took his tally to 27 goals – a number only previously achieved by Chris Wondolowski of San Jose Earthquakes in 2012 and Roy Lassiter of the now dissolved Tampa Bay Mutiny in 1996.

Out of the three strikers that share the record, he managed to amass his goals in the least game time with 2,573 minutes spent on the pitch compared to the 2,813 minutes and 2,580 minutes that it took Wondolowski and Lassiter respectively.

He started less games and also managed to record the highest number of shots-on-target out of the three.

BWP StatsOther than one great season at Charlton Athletic in the 2011/12 campaign, Wright-Phillips was a player struggling to find his feet in the English game and the epiphany to join Major League Soccer must be a moment he looks back on with great fondness having now established himself as one of the sport’s truly great players.

Crossing the Atlantic is undoubtedly one of the boldest but greatest moves he has made in his career and now he’s reaping the rewards as well as hunting down MLS Cup glory with New York Red Bulls.

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Winning the golden boot and equalling the record is a wonderful achievement for the Englishman but his work for the season is far from over as attentions turn immediately to the Eastern Conference knockout round where New York will take on Sporting Kansas City at the Red Bull Arena on Thursday.

The way he performs in the knockout round and the further potential playoff games will be vital to the Red Bulls if they are to stand any chance of making the MLS Cup Final on Sunday 7th December.

Can Bradley Wright-Phillips fire New York Red Bulls to MLS Cup success?

Preview & Prediction: New York Red Bulls vs Columbus Crew

Columbus Crew travel to the Red Bull Arena to face New York Red Bulls on Sunday night, in an Eastern Conference playoff rehearsal.

Both sides will be on a high going in to this game after wins at the weekend have all but sealed their places in the playoffs, though Columbus will be keeping an eye on Toronto’s result against Montreal on Saturday night as if the Reds fail to win, the Crew will be guaranteed a playoff spot.

New York have guaranteed a top-5 finish after three first half goals set up a comfortable 3-1 victory at home to Toronto last Saturday.

Meanwhile, Columbus Crew scored three goals in four second-half minutes against the Philadelphia Union to come from behind and claim a remarkable 3-2 win at the weekend and are now in a solid position themselves.

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That victory means that they now only need one more point to mathematically confirm their place in the playoffs.

Despite appearing at first glance as though it may be a nothing game, both sides will be desperate to get a win as the implications of finishing 4th or 5th could be crucial to any potential MLS Cup success, and they could well be playing each other in the first playoff game at the end of the month.

Though both teams will be vying to finish in the top three to avoid that extra playoff game.

New York have struggled away from home this season but their current home form is a frightening prospect with 7 straight wins and no defeat in 10.

New York Red Bulls home form: Played 16 – Won 10 – Drawn 4 – Lost 2

Columbus Crew will be determined to pick up the point they need to seal their playoff place, so they will want to avoid a repeat of their last visit to the Red Bull Arena which ended in a 4-1 loss back in July.

Recent history is not their side though, as they have failed to win at the Red Bull Arena in their last 4 attempts – their last victory in New York was on May 20, 2010 when they ran out 3-1 winners.

Columbus Crew’s away form: Played 16 – Won 4 – Drawn 6 – Lost 6

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – The Englishman is on fire at the moment and he is just three goals away from setting the record as the highest goalscorer in a single MLS season.

He is on 25 goals for the season and the previous best is 27 – a record set by Roy Lassiter of Tampa Bay Mutiny in Major League Soccer’s inaugural season in 1996.

Chris Wondolowski then matched Lassiter’s tally of 27 in the 2012 season for San Jose Earthquakes.

Key Stat: New York Red Bulls have scored in every home game so far this season, so it is unlikely that this one will end goalless.

New York Red Bulls last five: D/W/L/W/W

Columbus Crew’s last five: D/W/W/L/W

Prediction: New York Red Bulls 2 – 1 Columbus Crew