Bradley Wright-Phillips

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The legend of Wright-Phillips grows with latest Red Bulls triumph

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For the better part of five years, Bradley Wright-Phillips has been the engine that never ceases to churn for the New York Red Bulls attack.

[ MORE: Red Bulls storm back to knock off Cincinnati in Open Cup semis ]

The Englishman that wears kit number 99 continued to cement his legacy with the MLS side on Tuesday night as Wright-Phillips added another two goals to his growing tally, which now stands at 94 in all competitions.

BWP — as Red Bulls faithful know him — recorded a brace after the 75th minute to help the Red Bulls reach the U.S. Open Cup final in Cincinnati, including once in extra time.

While Wright-Phillips certainly played a key role in the comeback, the striker emphasized his side’s “character” after they went down 1-0.

“It felt massive,” said Wright-Phillips. “When we went two goals down it was going take something special but if there’s one team that can do it. It’s not me being biased, it’s us. We have a lot of character, we’re a fit team and situations like that seem to suit us. As soon as we go a goal down, I don’t like it but sometimes we just turn into a different animal. Today, it was no different.”

Manager Jesse Marsch and the Red Bulls have come under scrutiny in the past for not showing up in big matches, particularly when the MLS Cup playoffs roll around.

The Red Bulls have finished atop the Eastern Conference in back-to-back seasons leading into 2017 under Marsch, however, the club has come up empty in the postseason.

Tuesday night’s comeback win over Cincinnati is a positive step for the club in terms of how the Red Bulls handle adversity in the biggest of matches.

“I think it’s been a very long time and I read things all the time about New York Red Bulls don’t win trophies or even some of their fans were saying we were going to choke into the semifinals,” Wright-Phillips said. “So it’s just good to get over this hurdle here and prove to people that we are a team that we’re learning and we’re getting better.”

Marsch and Co. trailed 2-0 with under half an hour remaining at Nippert Stadium, but a gutsy performance from Wright-Phillips and the rest of the Red Bulls crew ensured the team that they’d play in the their second Open Cup final in club history (first occurred in 2003 when Red Bulls were previously the MetroStars).

[ MORE: Fourth MLS firing in ’17 — Mastroeni sacked by Rapids ]

The Red Bulls will move on to the tournament’s finale next month when they take on Sporting KC at Children’s Mercy Park.

Red Bulls storm back against FC Cincinnati to reach Open Cup final

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FC Cincinnati looked to be on the verge of another historic victory at Nippert Stadium, but that was before Bradley Wright-Phillips had his say in the matter.

[ MORE: Rapids fire Pablo Mastroeni in fourth MLS coach dismissal in 2017 ]

The New York Red Bulls notched an impressive comeback on Tuesday night to knock off Cincinnati, 3-2, in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals.

The Red Bulls will now move on to face Sporting KC in the Open Cup final on September 20 at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City.

The 33,250 supporters in the crowd on Tuesday marked the second-highest attended match in the Open Cup’s history, according to TheCup.us.

Wright-Phillips grew his legend with the Red Bulls after recording a brace for the MLS club (his 93rd and 94th goals). Alan Koch’s side managed to stifle the veteran Englishman for most of the night, but Wright-Phillips kept on doing what he does best when it matters most.

The 32-year-old goalscorer tallied his second goal of the night in the 101st minute to help the Red Bulls complete their comeback, after having previously trailed by two goals inside the final 20 minutes.

Cincinnati was certainly on the back foot in terms of chances created throughout the night, but Austen Berry made no mistake with his opportunity in the 62nd minute, which gave the home side a 2-0 advantage.

The 28-year-old defender broke free on a corner kick from Kenney Walker, and Berry’s aerial effort left Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara with absolutely no chance.

This came after Corben Bone had sent Cincy out in front near the half-hour mark.

Just as the team looked dead in the water, goals from Gonzalo Veron and Wright-Phillips broke the hearts of Cincinnati inside the final 15 minutes of regulation.

For Cincinnati, Veron’s finish marked the first time the club has conceded in this year’s competition.

Wright-Phillips moves into 14th all-time in MLS goals

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It’s just soccer 101 that a hat-trick trumps a brace, but make no mistake, Bradley Wright-Phillips’ performance on Sunday was still brilliant.

[ MORE: Carli Lloyd talks time at Man City, state of USWNT and more ]

The New York Red Bulls fell short against cross-river rivals New York City FC at Yankee Stadium, 3-2, but Wright-Phillips continued his dominance against the Bronx side in the loss with another two-goal performance.

Not only does Wright-Phillips now have 10 goals overall against NYCFC, but the English striker has recorded four matches against the Light Blues in which he has tallied two goals.

The feat also brought the 32-year-old up to 82 goals in his MLS career, drawing Wright-Phillips level for a tie at 14th all-time in league goals with Brian Ching and Raul Diaz Arce.

The truly amazing accomplishment for Wright-Phillips, though, has been his efficiency. Only one player ahead of him on the MLS goalscoring list has done so in fewer matches — Robbie Keane — who scored 83 goals in 125 fixtures for the LA Galaxy.

However, Wright-Phillips appears to be far from done racking up goals in MLS. And while Landon Donovan’s 145 league finishes may be out of reach for the former Southampton and Charlton striker, BWP is surely poised to climb up the list of finishers by the time his MLS career is all said and done.

[ MORE: Villa, NYCFC show courage with comeback win against Red Bulls ]

Chris Wondolowski and Kei Kamara are the only other current MLS players that stand above BWP on the all-time goalscoring list.

Here’s a look at the players that lie ahead of Wright-Phillips with MLS goals.

1.Landon Donovan — 145 goals, 136 assists
2. Jeff Cunningham — 134 goals, 70 assists
3. Jaime Moreno — 133 goals, 102 assists
4. Chris Wondolowski — 130 goals, 31 assists
5. Ante Razov — 114 goals, 66 assists
6. Jason Kreis — 108 goals, 74 assists
7. Dwayne De Rosario — 104 goals, 77 assists
8. Taylor Twellman — 101 goals, 28 assists
9. Edson Buddle — 100 goals, 30 assists
10. Kei Kamara — 94 goals, 37 assists
11. Carlos Ruiz — 89 goals, 17 assists
12. Roy Lassiter — 88 goals, 35 assists
13. Robbie Keane — 83 goals, 45 assists
14. Brian Ching, Raul Diaz Arce, Bradley Wright-Phillips — 82 goals

MLS Snapshot: New York City FC 3-2 New York Red Bulls (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): If goals are your thing, Sunday’s New York Derby was a must-watch. Two of the league’s most dynamic goalscorers put on a show at Yankee Stadium, but it was David Villa that had the last say as he recorded his first MLS hat-trick and helped NYCFC capture its first season-series against their bitter rival. Meanwhile, Bradley Wright-Phillips continued his scoring tear against NYCFC in the defeat with his ninth and 10th goals against the Red Bulls’ cross-river rivals. The loss for Jesse Marsch’s side snaps the team’s four-match win streak, while NYCFC creates separation in third place in the Eastern Conference with the win.

Three four moments that mattered

28′ — Villa pounces, puts NYCFC in front — Red Bulls fans will be shouting for handball on Alex Ring, but the flag stayed down and David Villa does what he does best. That’s 15 goals on the season!

41′ — BWP keeps on torturing the rivals — Just moments after Jack Harrison’s penalty appeal, the all-time leading scorer for the Red Bulls does this… 1-1 at Yankee Stadium.

64′ — Guess who? Bradley gives Red Bulls the lead — If somebody is going to score in this rivalry, it’s quite clear who that player will be. Make it 10 goals for Wright-Phillips against NYCFC.

72′ — Villa decides to take everyone on — The captain hasn’t had the best track record of scoring against the Red Bulls in the past, but the former Barcelona star put that out of his mind on Sunday.

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Man of the match: David Villa

Goalscorers: David Villa (28′, 72′, 76′), Bradley Wright-Phillips (41′, 64′)

MLS Snapshot: New England 2-3 New York Red Bulls (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less)Jay Heaps and the New England Revolution threw away two wonderful plays from Diego Fagundez, and perhaps their playoffs hopes in the process. New England is now eight points back of the sixth spot in the East, while New York stays within shouting distance of the Top Six. Coach Jesse Marsch is now the winningest coach in RBNY history, while Heaps days of adding to his total as Revs boss may be dwindling down to zero.

(Some of) The goals

21′ — Pretty build-up, gutsy finish — The first example of Fagundez’s fantastic playmaking was met by Teal Bunbury’s fearless finish. It’s a shame few fans will be thinking about it following the match.

23′ — BWP’s vicious equalizer — Sometime it’s more power than placement.

26′ — Fagundez wins the ball back, finds Nguyen — Look at this mazey dribble from the 22-year-old Uruguayan.

90′ — Veron gets on the board — Not a banner moment for keeper positioning, but the Argentine from San Lorenzo has his first of the season to just drive a sledgehammer into New England’s collective gut.

Man of the Match: Fagundez.