Two years ago, we were all watching with bated breath as Chris Wondolowski made his assualt on Roy Lassiter's MLS single-season goal record of 27. Wondo, of course, ended up tied at the top after scoring five goals in his final three games.
Just two years later there is a strong possibility that we will see someone finally break the nearly 20-year-old record.
Bradley Wright-Phillips (who I profiled a couple of weeks back) is having a record-breaking season for the Red Bulls. The Englishman upped his goal tally to 21 after scoring Saturday night on a penalty kick goal against Sporting Kansas City.
The Red Bulls striker has eight games left to match or break the record. Judging by his current form and status as New York's PK expert, Wright-Phillips has a pretty good shot at it. He has scored more than a goal a game at home this season (14 in 12 games) and has five matches at Red Bull Arena left. If he can continue that torrid pace at home and score in two of his three road games, he will finish as the new single-season Goal King in MLS.
Below are the Red Bulls remaining games, an evaluation of their opponents’ defenses and the odds, which are completely unscientific, that Wright-Phillips scores. The league rank is in parentheses.
Date: 9/10; Venue: Red Bull Arena
Goals conceded/game: 1.11 (2nd best in MLS), Goals conceded/game on the road: 1.46 (T-6), BWP Goals/Games Against: 0/2
D.C. United have one of the top defenses in MLS and they just shut out the Red Bulls two weeks ago. The good news is that the game is at home, where Wright-Phillips has been more than comfortable this season.
Goal odds: 50%
Date: 9/13; Venue: PPL Park
Goals conceded/game: 1.52 (13), Goals conceded/game at home: 1.58 (17), BWP Goals/Games Against: 1/2
After struggling for most of the year on the backline, the Union seemed to have shored up their team defense. They've conceded just eight goals in their last eight games and welcome Carlos Valdes back after international duty.
Goal odds: 40%
Date: 9/20; Venue: Red Bull Arena
Goals conceded/game: 1.35 (8), Goals conceded/game on the road: 1.85 (T-15), BWP Goals/Games Against: 0/0
The Sounders haven't been impenetrable on the road this season, and they'll be coming off a U.S. Open Cup final against Philadelphia. Wright-Phillips should be rested and ready to score in his first game against Seattle.
Goal odds: 70%
Date: 9/28; Venue: StubHub Center
Goals conceded/game: 1.04 (1), Goals conceded/game at home: .85 (T-2), BWP Goals/Games Against: 0/0
The stingiest defense in the league will be a stern test for the Red Bulls and Wright-Phillips. A goal here seems unlikely.
Goal odds: 20%
Date: 10/4; Venue: Red Bull Arena
Goals conceded/game: 1.85 (19), Goals conceded/game on the road: 2.31 (18), BWP Goals/Games Against: 5/2
Here is a real opportunity for Wright-Phillips to make a dent against the league's worst defense and second worst on the road. Wright-Phillips will be licking his chops as he has already scored a hat trick against the Dynamo this season.
Goal odds: 95%
Date 10/11; Venue: Red Bull Arena
Goals conceded/game: 1.62 (14), Goals conceded/game on the road: 1.77 (13), BWP Goals/Games Against: 1/2
The Canadian club is in a full-on tailspin after firing Ryan Nelsen and losing consecutive games to the Union. Their defense has been a sore spot for the club (injuries, oh my) and captain Steven Caldwell may not be back in time for this game.
Goal odds: 80%
Date 10/19; Venue: Red Bull Arena
Goals conceded/game: 1.26 (5), Goals conceded/game on the road: 1.54 (10), BWP Goals/Games Against: 2/2
Wright-Phillips has scored in both games against the Crew so far this season, and in what could be the Red Bulls biggest game of the season, you would expect the Englishman to come out firing on all cylinders.
Goal odds: 75%
Date 10/26; Venue: Sporting Park
Goals conceded/game: 1.21 (4), Goals conceded/game on the road: 1.14 (8), BWP Goals/Games Against: 2/2
The MLS Cup champions are currently in their worst run of form in three years, having lost four games in a row and conceded 11 goals in the process. If they can't get the problem fixed before the end of October, it could be a huge day for Wright-Phillips.
Goal odds: 50%
Will Wright-Phillips knock Wondolowski and Lassiter off their perch? Where will the goals come from? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.