Bradley Wright-Phillips has already written his name into MLS history after equalling the league’s single-season scoring record in 2014 with 27 goals, but he managed to reach another landmark on Saturday night.
The New York Red Bulls striker, who joined the club back in July 2013, bagged a brace in Saturday night’s clash with the Montreal Impact to secure his side a 3-1 comeback win and pass Juan Pablo Angel as the franchise’s all-time leading scorer in the process with 59 regular-season goals.
He previously bettered former teammate Thierry Henry’s mark of 52 earlier in the season by netting a 27-minute hat-trick in a 3-0 victory over Toronto FC, and the 31-year-old Englishman admitted after the Montreal match that he was humbled just be mentioned alongside such respected players.
“It’s definitely a proud moment, you know, the names associated with that record before, I shouldn’t even be in that category,” Wright-Phillips told the Red Bulls’ official website after the win. “Somehow by the grace of God I’m in it and I’m going to see how many I can get and I just have to thank my teammates and everyone that’s helped me to get to this record. I can only be thankful.”
Saturday’s victory over Montreal certainly showed why Wright-Phillips has been so key to the Red Bulls’ recent success. The former Manchester City and Southampton forward grabbed the equaliser just one minute after Ignacio Patti opened the scoring in the 21st-minute, fighting off a strong challenge from Victor Cabrera to slot the ball past goalkeeper Evan Bush, before heading home his record-breaking effort shortly before the half-time interval to give the hosts the lead.
With 14 goals in 25 games this season, he is now only one strike behind Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco in the league’s Golden Boot race and has helped Jesse Marsch’s men maintain their position near the top of the Eastern Conference.
The 2015 Supporters’ Shield winners currently sit second in the table with 36 points from 25 matches – one point behind the first-placed New York City FC – and will go into next weekend’s clash with D.C. United at RFK Stadium on a seven-match unbeaten run in the league.