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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.

Video: FC Cincinnati holds halftime lead against Red Bulls

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The Cinderella of the 2017 U.S. Open Cup has shown no signs of slowing down in the year’s competition, and with one half remaining a USL side could be on the verge of reaching the final.

[ MORE: Rapids fire Mastroeni after three-plus seasons with West side ]

FC Cincinnati leads the New York Red Bulls, 1-0, at the break after Corben Bone blasted the hosts into the lead just after the half-hour mark.

It was a beautiful lay off from Danni Konig inside the Red Bulls penalty area that set up Bone, and the 28-year-old made no mistake with his volley.

With one half remaining, will Cincinnati be able to hold off the MLS side?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

MLS: Fire’s road woes continue; Red Bulls rally to beat Orlando

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Justin Meram scored in the 73rd minute to help the Columbus Crew beat the Chicago Fire 3-1 on Saturday night to snap a three-game losing streak.

Meram, with the outside of his right foot, tapped home a cross by Waylon Francis to give Columbus (11-12-2) its first lead. Wil Trapp perfectly placed a long, arcing pass down the left side to Francis, who fed Meram at the top of the 6-yard box for the finish.

Michael de Leeuw gave the Fire a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute, but Kekuta Manneh chipped a loose ball over the sliding Matt Lampson to tie it in the 18th. Ola Kamara capped the scoring in the 88th minute, converting from the spot after drawing a penalty on Lampson, who came well off his line to challenge Kamara on a breakaway.

Chicago (12-6-5) has lost three of its last four after an 11-match unbeaten streak.


HARRISON, N.J. (AP) Sean Davis assisted on the go-ahead goal and added an insurance goal in the 80th minute to lift the New York Red Bulls to a contentious 3-1 win over Orlando City on Saturday night.

There were four yellow cards and Orlando’s Kaka was given a red card in the seventh minute of stoppage time.

Davis set up the go-ahead goal in the 60th minute, slotting the ball forward to Alex Muyl with Bradley Wright-Phillips beating goalkeeper Joe Bendik to the spot on the centering pass for the redirect and his 14th goal. Davis then took a throw-in from Kemar Lawrence, tapped it to his right and curled perfect shot from distance in the 80th minute.

Carlos Rivas, with an assist from Kaka, put Orlando up 1-0 with his fifth goal in the 18th minute but an own goal by Leo Pereira leveled the game in the 30th minute.

The Red Bull (12-9-2) have scored 12 goals and allowed just two in their last three home games after a slow start. Orlando City (8-10-6) has won only twice in its last 17 games.

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