NY Sports Day

BWP Sets Red Bulls Record, Gets Equalizer In Chicago

Mike Lawrence / Sportsday Wire

The New York Red Bulls earned a 2-2 draw at the Chicago Fire on Sunday night at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois.

Bradley Wright-Phillips tied the game in the 90th minute, swinging through a cross put in by Connor Lade. Wright-Phillips now has 12 goals on the season, second-most in MLS.

With the goal, Wright-Phillips broke the franchise record for goals across all competitions.  It was his 63rd career goal for the Red Bulls, passing Juan Pablo Angel’s previous mark. BWP has 57 MLS goals and six in the MLS Playoffs while JPA finished his career with 58 league goals, three goals in the playoffs and one U.S. Open Cup goal.

“Of course, I won’t lie, I try not to think about it but when you say these kind of things it makes me proudm” Wright-Phillips said of setting the goals record. “I put a lot of work into what I do and an achievement like that, it makes me feel happy and proud.”

“It was one of the rare times that we had space on the flank so when (Aurelien) Collin got it my eyes kind of lit up and I knew he could deliver a good ball,” Wright-Phillips said. “I just kind of wanted to get to the front post. I think Felipe got a little touch on it which might have helped my cause but I just tried to get a nice firm touch behind it.”

“I’ve been challenging him to make more plays late in the game,” Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch said of Wright-Phillips taking advantage of his lack of touches in the second half and scoring the tying goal. “I thought that they did a pretty good job of being hard on him. Every team we play knows that Bradley is important. They focus in on him, they focus in on him and Sacha [Kljestan] and Brad still manages to find ways to get goals. The key was in the second half to keep everyone’s mentality about the next play and not worrying about plays not coming off, the goal didn’t come right away, and just try to encourage them to continue to have a positive mentality to push and push and push. And for Brad to make a big play like that that late in the game, is a big step for him. And obviously a big step for our team. That part was good. I’ll build on that and say, as good as Brad is, we’re trying to help encourage him to have a cutthroat mentality. That even if he doesn’t have many touches on the day, he only needs one touch to make a difference. And so that part was really good. He stayed after the game and made a big play.”

New York got on the board in the 16th minute thanks to an own goal by the Chicago defense. Mike Grella swung in a cross from the right side that was re-directed by Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson by defender Matt Polster. Sacha Kljestan got a toe on the ball as it crossed the goal line to leave no doubt in the matter.

The Fire would score twice before the end of the first half with goals from David Accam and Polster, forcing New York to play forward and press for the equalizer.

“At halftime, it would have been easy to be frustrated and angry but I just tried to arrange their minds to know that the game was there and that they really had to make a push,” Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch said of their effort. “And if they made a push the right way, that they would be able to get themselves back into it. That was my main emphasis at halftime. I think that the push that they made in the second half was really good. I think they went after the game in a good way, we pressed a little bit more, and we were able to be dangerous with possession. Overall you have to look at it as a positive, a big positive. Now it’s a result we get on the road and momentum going forward. Somehow though we have to find ways to cut out performances like the first half and build on performances on the second half.”

New York is now 9-9-5 on the season, and 1-7-4 on the road. New York has 32 points on the season and remains in second place in the East.

The Red Bulls return home to host Antigua Guatemala Football Club on Wednesday night for the opening match of the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League group stage. Kickoff at Red Bull Arena is set for 8 p.m.

The Red Bulls then travel to Los Angeles for a matchup with the Galaxy on Sunday, August 7. Kickoff is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET


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