English striker poised to join the MLS 100 Club in 2018

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?

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Will Harry Kane end the season as the Premier League’s top scorer?

Much has been made of the brilliant form of Harry Kane this season and Lewis Addley explores whether he can win the Premier League golden boot this year…

Having already notched 23 goals in all competitions for Tottenham so far this season there seems to be no end to Harry Kane‘s goalscoring habit.

As we know, he isn’t just finding the net against smaller teams but banging them in past the big sides in the Premier League too and has bagged a brace against both Chelsea and Arsenal already this season.

He is only four goals behind top scorer Diego Costa (17) in the league on 13 goals and he still has plenty of games ahead to make up the difference and overtake whoever is in front of him.

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Kane has bagged five in his last three including the crucial winner in the North London derby and with Tottenham Hotspur taking on West Ham United this Sunday lunchtime you wouldn’t bet against him finding the net again.

Spurs have a high volume of games as they balance domestic commitments alongside European games in the UEFA Europa League and although fitness is always a factor, Kane has the hunger to play every game and the desire to score goals seems to give him that boost in each appearance.

How Harry Kane compares statistically to with the other top scorers in the Premier League after 25 games (Stats via Squawka)

How Harry Kane compares statistically to with the other top scorers in the Premier League after 25 games (Stats via Squawka)

His two goals in the dramatic 5-3 win over Chelsea on New Years Day were pivotal to proving to any remaining doubters that he really does mean business and has what it takes to be one of the best strikers in the Premier League.

With 13 league games remaining Kane has plenty of time to add to his tally and with his confidence sky-high there is little doubt that he will continue to do so. Pulling rank to take penalties gives Kane even more opportunity for goals and he appears to be unstoppable at this moment in time.

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Kane has a wide variety of dimensions to his game, as we have seen this season, and that gives the 21-year-old forward that edge over many other goalscorers in the league. Whether it be strikes from range long or quick thinking in the box he is scoring all types of goals.

Kane’s confident approach to games and his professional attitude certainly gives him a good chance of winning the Golden Boot come the end of the campaign.

Do you think Harry Kane will win the Golden Boot in the Premier League this season?

Christian Eriksen fires Spurs to seventh with another late strike

Tottenham left the Liberty Stadium with all three points on Sunday evening having been on the back foot for large periods of the game.

They have to thank Christian Eriksen once again, as he popped up in the last minute of normal time to seal the win with an accurate strike into the bottom-left corner.

This marks the second time this season that Eriksen has won Spurs a match in the dying minutes as he also bagged the winner against Hull City a few weeks ago. So this begs the question, are they over reliant on the Danish superstar?

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He is Spurs’ joint top scorer with Nacer Chadli in the Premier League and for the second season running has looked like the player everybody was expecting him to be when Tottenham signed him last summer.

His form has been consistent and he regularly creates chances, averaging just over two per game.

This was another performance to cherish for Eriksen as he laid on an assist for young Harry Kane. And looked a threat whenever he got on the ball.

He has been played out of position on the left of midfield, despite being most effective in a more central berth but has kicked on in recent weeks and is shining in the Spurs side.

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Spurs manager, Mauricio Pochettino, will be hoping his other attacking midfielders can support the form of Eriksen. The likes of Nacer Chadli and Erik Lamela have failed as yet to convince the fans that they are worth the investment, especially Lamela.

Young Lamela came from AS Roma with the promise of being the ‘next Gareth Bale’. However, he spent much of last season on the sideline and has yet to register a Premier League goal. His performance today was also an indication of how much he is struggling to adapt to life in the Premier League, especially when compared to Eriksen.

Spurs look to be enduring yet another season in transition with another manager. However, Eriksen is providing hope that they can continue to climb the table if his form continues.

How important is Christian Eriksen to Spurs?

2014 MLS Season Review: Sporting Kansas City

Eastern Conference Final Position: 5th

Eastern Conference Playoffs: Knockout Round

Best Moment

Coming back from 1-0 down at halftime to beat Toronto away from home on July 26. It showed that the reigning champs still knew how to get the job done, in what was a good run of form.

Worst Moment

It seems obvious but their exit from the MLS playoffs. The defeat in the Eastern Conference knockout round to New York Red Bulls was a major disappointment, especially as they led until the 77th minute. Poor defensive communication saw them concede a last minute Bradley Wright-Phillips winner which sealed their fate. Devastating for the MLS Cup holders.

Player of the Year

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Dom Dwyer has been the standout performer in a tough year for SKC. Losing Graham Zusi and Matt Besler for the World Cup hindered their season, but with Dwyer’s finishing ability, SKC always looked threatening going forward, and he ended the season with an impressive 23 goal tally.

Biggest Win

Sporting Kansas City 4-0 Montreal Impact (April 26 2014)

Chivas USA 0-4 Sporting Kansas City (September 13 2014)

Biggest Defeat

Sporting Kansas City 0-3 D.C United (August 24 2014)

What to improve for the 2015 season… 

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They had the highest possession percentage in MLS this year and converting that dominance on the field into more wins will be key. They should aim to be more clinical going forward, and look to get more names on the score-sheet as they became a little over reliant on Dwyer. SKC should come back stronger for the 2015 season and will look to be fighting at the top of the Western Conference after being moved from the Eastern.

A bright future awaits the Dangerous Dom Dwyer

Dom Dwyer is currently the top scorer in Major League Soccer this season, but how much do we really know about the Sporting Kansas City striker?

At 23 years-old he has plenty of years left in front of him, and the English-born forward is showing all the signs of a great finisher.

Growing up in England, Dwyer was a member of Norwich City’s academy until 2006, until he decided to make the move across the pond to pursue his career in MLS.

With his finishing qualities and blistering pace, Dwyer is a very appealing target and don’t rule out a move to the Premier League as he could easily play in England.

With ten goals in twelve appearances this season, Dwyer is leading the line for Sporting Kansas City to great effect.

With SKC using a 4-3-3 formation, Dwyer is normally supported by Graham Zusi from the left along with Sal Zizzo or Jacob Peterson and he thrives as the central striker.

However, with Zusi’s absence with the USMNT in preparation for the World Cup, there is a huge weight of expectation on young Dwyer’s shoulders, and he seems to be coping pretty well.

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(Photo: Dom Dwyer went to the top of the MLS scoring charts with another brace on friday night)

Kansas City played a strong Toronto side on Friday night and Dwyer popped up with another brace, his third of the season.

Recent form dictates that Dwyer won’t stop anytime soon, as he now has six goals in his last four games.

Dwyer has always had a love affair with the score sheet, while on-loan at Orlando City last season he notched up fifteen goals in thirteen appearances.

Many will say he is the best striker in the league right now and the stats prove this hard to argue against, a fantastic statement in a league that can boast the talents of Jermaine Defoe, Robbie Keane and Clint Dempsey.

One thing for sure is SKC will get goals with Dwyer up top, and we can expect them to be in the playoffs defending their title at the end of the regular season.

Time will tell if he can sustain this form but at the rate he’s scoring, an international call is surely not out of reach in the future?