While New York Red Bulls striker Bradley Wright-Phillips was delighted to tie the MLS single-season record in Sunday’s 2-0 win at Sporting Kansas City, he couldn’t hide his disappointment at failing to take the title for himself.
Wright-Phillips netted a brace on the weekend to finish the 2014 campaign with 27 regular-season goals, matching the mark set by Roy Lassiter for the now-defunct Tampa Bay Mutiny in the league’s inaugural 1996 season, and San Jose Earthquakes front man Chris Wondolowksi in 2012.
The English Golden Boot-winner revealed after the win at Sporting Park how much he wanted the record for himself, but is also somewhat relieved that the long-running pursuit is now over.
‘I’m happy but, at the same time, I’m devastated,’ he told the club’s official website.
‘I think I had the chances to get the 28, but I guess I’ll just have to brush up on my finishing for next season.
‘My game plan is always to run in behind [the defenders]. I did that today, with a bit of luck, and I’m just glad I don’t have to talk about it anymore.
‘People were going on about it on Twitter and Instagram, so now I guess it’s a bit of a relief to just focus on the play-offs.’
A win on Sunday sealed the Red Bulls fourth seed in the Eastern Conference for the post-season, with the club now set to host Sporting KC in Thursday’s knockout round.
Wright-Phillips endured a slow start to life in New York after arriving in July 2013, but developed a glowing rapport with strike-partner Thierry Henry this season, and believes his side can now go all the way to claim their first-ever MLS Cup.
‘The boys were magnificent. Sometimes when you say things in the dressing room it doesn’t always go to plan but we showed maturity and now everything’s coming right at the end of the season,' he said.
‘Things are looking really good moving forward and I’m confident we can go all the way.’