The New York Red Bulls’ 3-3 draw against D.C. United on Sunday afternoon is being looked at as a disappointment considering the chances created and the defensive lapses that kept New York from taking all three points. Still, escaping with a point keeps the team in the running for the Supporters Shield and a bye in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs. It wouldn’t be possible without the fantastic efforts of the team’s all-time leading goal-scorer Bradley Wright-Phillips.
Red Bulls “Grateful for Bradley Wright-Phillips”
“I am just really grateful for Bradley Wright Phillips,” said team captain and goalkeeper Luis Robles. “The only reason we have a point is because of Brad’s spectacular plays and we know when it comes to games like this, especially when it’s going to be a gritty battle, it’s guys making plays and Brad did that for us on the offensive end.”
The hat-trick puts Wright-Phillips in second place in MLS Golden Boot race with 19 goals, the most he’s scored since 2016 when he netted 24. However, the discussion from the team’s legendary player is what you would expect if you have heard him speak previously. The team’s missed opportunities are what haunts him and not the accolades of his output.
“I feel a little bit disappointed,” said Wright-Phillips. “I don’t feel we really looked like ourselves defensively. It is obviously good to score but we were always coming back. It was always: We had to score to get back into the game. We are fighting too hard to get these wins the last two games and I don’t really like the feeling of that.”
To be fair, the Red Bulls had to stop one of the most prolific goal-scorers in English Premier League history. Wayne Rooney created chances, even scoring a goal, but it will be his misses in the game that mark the occasion.
In the second half, Rooney had several chances that either missed wide or rang off the crossbar, denying his team the killing blow. Conversely, Wright-Phillips was clinical with his chances, showing the elite skill he possesses to bring his team back from the brink at multiple points.
“I remember in that game just feeling very frustrated,” said Wright-Phillips. “Like I said, I try to get on the end of things but it was always a goal to get back into the game. If you look, I don’t think we celebrated apart from the first one, we didn’t celebrate because we know the game should not have looked like that. Today, unfortunately, it did.”
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography