Bradley Wright-Phillips is closing in on the MLS Golden Boot.
Before then, he’ll take home another honor as the New York Red Bulls striker was named MLS Player of the Week for Week 33 by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) on Tuesday.
If he can hold off Villa — who’s scored 22 goals this year — in the final week of the regular season, he would join Preki, Taylor Twellman, Jeff Cunningham and Chris Wondolowski as two-time Golden Boot winners. Wright-Phillips led MLS in goals in 2014 with 27 and finished with 17 last season.
Sunday’s game marked the seventh multi-goal effort of the season for Wright-Phillips, who’s now scored in 10 of his last 12 matches and has won Player of the Week honors three times this year.
The brace against Columbus began in the 58th minute when he followed a pretty cutback move in the box with a tough-angle, left-footed shot past Crew goalkeeper Brad Stuver. He completed it 12 minutes later when he got in the perfect position to tap in an Aurelien Collin flick off a Sacha Kljestan corner kick, a goal which put the Red Bulls up 3-0 and proved to be decisive as Columbus rallied for two more goals.
Although he downplayed his brace after the game, it helped the Red Bulls all but wrap up the top seed in the Eastern Conference. They conclude their regular season Sunday with a short trip to Talen Energy Stadium to take on the Philadelphia Union (4 pm ET, MLS LIVE). And since the Union essentially have the final playoff spot in the East locked up, the biggest drama of the game might be BWP’s Golden Boot hunt.
The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.