|Bradley Wright-Phillips with Red Bulls Head Coach Jesse Marsch after a recent game. Photo by Jason Schott.|
Red Bulls Forward Bradley Wright-Phillips, who was deemed the "most underrated player in league history" by his coach, Jesse Marsch, on Saturday night, got some recognition on Tuesday as he was voted the Alcatel MLS Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR).
Wright-Phillips earned the honor after scoring two goals in the Red Bulls 3-0 home win over Minnesota United FC on Saturday night.
Wright-Phillips struck once in each half to seal the win for the Red Bulls. He put them ahead 2-0 in the 42nd minute with an over-the-shoulder heel touch, redirecting a free kick from Homegrown midfielder Sean Davis that was headed-on by Tim Parker.
BWP then added an MLS Goal of the Week candidate in the 78th minute, running onto a curling through ball from Homegrown Alex Muyl and using his first touch to strike the ball over the shoulder of Lampson and into the far side of the net.
Wright-Phillips has three goals and an assist in three MLS Games, and six goals and four assists across seven matches, including four games in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.
In his MLS career, Wright-Phillips has 89 regular season goals, currently tied with Carlos Ruiz for 11th on the MLS all-time scoring list. BWP's career tally includes 88 since the start of the 2014 season, the most goals scored is the most by an MLS player over a five-year span. Wright-Phillips is just three games into the fifth season of that count.
Saturday night was Wright-Phillips' 19th career multi-goal game, moving him into sole possession of fifth place all-time in league history. BWP now has 15 career MLS regular-season braces.
Here is what Marsch said of Wright-Phillips in its entirety, "There is this perception that Brad is not one of the premiere players in this league, which, you know, Brad got a couple of shots in on him early in the game, and -- he gets the call, like why doesn't Bradley Wright-Phillips garner the respect of the premiere players of this league?
"You could make an argument that he is the best player to ever play in this league and the best goal scorer to ever play this this league and he should be treated as such, okay, by earn, including referees. If we are talking about protecting the star players and making sure that we're protecting attacking players; I've made this argument for four years with Brad, that he doesn't get the respect that he deserves.
"But I don't think he gives a damn. He's just going to go out and do his thing and show every day what he's about. So, yeah, I mean, he's incredible. He's incredible.
"He should be underrated. He should be the most underrated player in league history. That should be his moniker because he proves every night how good he is."
The Alcatel MLS Player of the Week is chosen each week of the regular season by members of the North American Soccer Reporters. The organization includes print, television, radio and online journalists who cover domestic men's soccer in the United States and Canada.
BWP leads the Red Bulls into Orlando this weekend, where they will face Orlando City SC on Saturday, March 31 at 1 p.m. ET (TV: UniMas, Radio: Red Bulls Radio in English).
The Red Bulls then continue on to open the semifinal series of the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League at Chivas on Wednesday, April 4 in Guadalajara. The return leg at Red Bull Arena is set for Tuesday, April 10 at 8 p.m. ET. Tickets are available by calling 1.877.727.8223 or visiting www.newyorkredbulls.com/tickets.