With one and possibly both of its Designated Players leaving, the New York Red Bulls signed forward Bradley Wright-Phillips
as a Designated Player for the 2015
season following his record-tying season. BWP, who was named to the 2014 MLS Best XI, tied the league scoring record with 27 goals in the regular season. The move follows the precedence of Chris Wondolowski
, who received a pay bump to DP status after he tied the scoring record held by Roy Lassiter.
"Bradley is not only a prolific goalscorer," said New York Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh
, "he is an excellent professional and a great team player
who will be a big asset to the club in the coming seasons."
Wright-Phillips, the son of former English star Ian Wright
, joined the Red Bulls
in 2013 and made 2014, his first full season in MLS, a memorable one. In August, he broke the club record, previously held by Juan Pablo Angel
the first player in club history to score 20 goals in a single season. Wright-Phillips went on to score seven more goals in New York's final nine regular-season games. He finished the regular season
with a two-goal performance in a 2-0 win at Sporting Kansas City that gave the Red Bulls home field advantage in the knockout round of the playoffs.
In the postseason, BWP recorded four
goals in four appearances but missed the deciding game of the Eastern Conference final series because he was suspended after picking up a yellow card for encroachment in the first leg against New
England. Unknown to him, his second yellow card of the playoffs meant he was suspended.
Along with 31 combined goals in the MLS regular season and playoffs, Wright-Phillips also scored a
goal against Bayern Munich in the 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Game and another against Arsenal in a friendly at Red Bull Arena.
On Monday, Red Bulls star Thierry Henry
announced he was leaving after five seasons, while Australian Tim Cahill
is also rumored to be on his way out.