New York Red Bulls’ Bradley Wright-Phillips is 2014 MLS Scoring Champion
History in the making – New York Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-Phillips (BWP) matched Roy Lassiter and Chris Wondolowski MLS scoring record of the most goals scored in a single season. A superb finisher, Bradley Wright-Phillips also earned the 2014 Castrol Index Top Player for his on field performance.
Wright-Phillips earned the distinction of being “top player” by accumulating 918 points in the Castrol Index. Who followed after Wright-Phillips?
Seattle’s Clint Dempsey finished second with 905 points, followed by fan favorite Galaxy forward Robbie Keane and D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid.
Wright-Phillips finished this year’s regular season with 27 total goals, tying the MLS single-season goal record set in 1996 by Lassiter and then match in 2012 by San Jose Earthquakes’s Wondolowski. He also won the 2014 Budweiser Golden Boot.
Trained at Manchester City Academy as a youth, this MLS Scoring Champion already pledges to work even harder next season. Wright-Phillips began his career with EPL’s Manchester City and scored his first Premier League goal on December 6th, 2004. Born in 1985, Wright-Phillips played with Southampton and Charlton Athletic before joining the Red Bulls in the 2013 season.
Diane Scavuzzo interviewed BWP who shared great advice for youth soccer players who want to succeed as a professional soccer player.
Diane Scavuzzo: Congratulations on scoring 27 goals this season. You have tied Roy Lassiter and Chris Wondolowski in the record books for most goals scored in a single season. How does it feel to join their ’27 Club’.
Wright-Phillips: I am happy. It is quite a lot of flattery. I am having a lot of fun.
Diane Scavuzzo: And you are very modest. Did you keep track of your goals during the season?
Wright-Phillips: No, that would make me feel the pressure.
During the season I wasn’t even thinking about the goal records. When you do keep track, then you can put too much pressure on yourself and then it never works out.
Diane Scavuzzo: What does tying the Most Goals Scored in a MLS Season mean to you?
Wright-Phillips: I am proud, obviously it means that I have been consistent. I have been trying to be a better player and be consistent. This award shows that hard work pays off.
Diane Scavuzzo: Your father is the former Arsenal and England player Ian Wright and your younger brother, Shaun Wright-Phillips, plays for Queens Park Rangers and England. Having your father and your brother both be professional soccer players must have had a great impact. What is it like?
Wright-Phillips: You get to learn a lot. Both my dad and my brother have done well in the game and have taught me so much.
Diane Scavuzzo: Do you feel you have to measure up to a level set by them?
Wright-Phillips: Anything I do can be compared to them, its quite normal. I get judged harshly sometimes if what I do is not quite good enough.
Diane Scavuzzo: Well, now you are breaking out of their shadows.
Wright-Phillips: I hope so.
Diane Scavuzzo: You trained as a youth player at Manchester City Youth Academy in England. What was it like?
Wright-Phillips: The time I spent there was amazing and it is still in my heart. I was at a great club and I didn’t give myself the best chance when I was there. I could have worked harder. I didn’t do any extra work and I could have been better when I was there.
Diane Scavuzzo: What did you learn at Manchester City?
Wright-Phillips: I learned respect for the game at Man City and that you have to work hard, I learned how to be a man there.
Diane Scavuzzo: Do you like playing for the MLS?
Wright-Phillips: Yes, very much. I love it here. The MLS is a good standard of soccer. A hard standard. I have watched American soccer a lot. And I really like the women’s soccer too. I am a big fan of Abby Wambach, love that lady!
Diane Scavuzzo What it is like to be professional soccer player? What do you think is important for success?
Wright-Phillips: Sometimes it is not about talent but it is a battle, it is about how strong you are and how you are willing to sacrifice.
Diane Scavuzzo: The role of a forward – what does it take to make it?
Wright-Phillips: You have to be brave and be prepared to miss. If you look back at my performance over the season, and even before, I have missed some shots that I should have scored.
Diane Scavuzzo: How do you score so many goals?
Wright-Phillips: I try to run behind the defenders and I try to annoy them — and it seems to work.
Diane Scavuzzo: What advice would you give youth soccer players who would like to follow in your footsteps.
Wright-Phillips: The best advice I can give to any forward is to tell them to get in the position and make good runs. It is not more complicated than that.
Diane Scavuzzo: Have you a role model?
Wright-Phillips: I have taken things from a lot of players
Diane Scavuzzo: What advice would you give to a youth player?
Wright-Phillips: Talent is not enough you have to be willing to give everything.
If you give everything, then if you fail, you can look in the mirror and know you did your best.
Diane Scavuzzo: What motivates you?
Wright-Phillips: My family. I have two children and need to feed them.
Diane Scavuzzo: That should not be a problem. If you could change one moment of your life … what would it be?
Wright-Phillips: I wouldn’t be here now if anything changed in the past – my past got me to where I am today. There isn’t any moment I would change.
Did you know … The Casrol Index ranks all MLS players based on data collected from every game during the MLS regular season and Wright-Phillips definitely deserved the honor this year.
Castrol, an official sponsor of Major League Soccer, launched the performance index in 2008, and has been analyzing MLS players since 2010.
The proprietary technology objectively ranks a player’s performance by tracking and analyzing a player’s every move through each game, offering analysts and fans alike a unique perspective on the game. Each game, analysts log movements that assess every player’s actions for positive or negative impact on his team’s ability to score or concede a goal, and also factors in where on the pitch each action takes place.
For example, players receive points for each successful pass they complete, but the number of points awarded depends on which ‘zones’ of the pitch the ball is passed from and received in. Similarly, misplaced or intercepted passes are penalized depending on how much trouble the mistake is likely to cause. The metric also gives points for categories such as tackles, interceptions, and blocked shots.
A player’s index score is calculated per 90 minutes in order to measure the quality of each performance rather than the total number of games played.