While Thierry Henry confirmed on Monday that he will not return to the New York Red Bulls for the 2015 MLS season, the club have since moved quickly to secure the future of his strike-partner.
The Red Bulls announced on Wednesday that they have signed Golden Boot-winner Bradley Wright-Phillips to a Designated Player deal, fresh off a 2014 campaign that saw the Englishman equal the league’s all-time single-season scoring record with a remarkable 27 goals in 32 regular-season appearances.
"Following his outstanding performances in 2014, which produced 31 goals in all competitions, the club has decided to make Bradley Wright-Phillips a MLS Designated Player," said New York Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh in a statement.
"Bradley is not only a prolific goalscorer, he is an excellent professional and a great team player who will be a big asset to the club in the coming seasons."
Wright-Phillips, who joined the Red Bulls in July 2013, was also named to the MLS Best XI team on Tuesday for his impressive performances, although he failed to make the three-man shortlist for the MVP award due to the equally stellar form of Robbie Keane, Obafemi Martins and Lee Nguyen.
The former Manchester City and Southampton striker netted four playoff goals in 2014 to help Mike Petke’s side to the Eastern Conference Championship against Nguyen’s New England Revolution side, but he missed the second-leg after picking up a suspension-triggering booking in the first clash.
The Red Bulls subsequently failed to make it to MLS Cup after a 2-2 draw at Foxborough saw them eliminated 4-3 on aggregate, and now face an offseason of rebuilding, with fellow DP Tim Cahill rumoured to be joining Thierry Henry in leaving the club.
Nevertheless, if Wright-Phillips can replication his 2014 goalscoring form next term then their odds of making a six-consecutive postseason appearance remain good.