New York Red Bulls sign Bradley Wright-Phillips to Designated Player deal

Bradley Wright-Phillips slides

Bradley Wright-Phillips has signed a new, multi-year contract with the New York Red Bulls that will make him a Designated Player, the club announced on Wednesday.

A two-time MLS Golden Boot winner, Wright-Phillips is the Red Bulls’ all-time leader in career goals in MLS (70) and across all competitions (78). He also holds the club records for career hat tricks (4), multi-goal games (16) and game-winning goals (20).

Wright-Phillips, 32, has one goal in four regular season games this year. Though he was a DP after previously renewing his contract in 2015, the Red Bulls used Targeted Allocation Money to buy down his budget charge in 2016.

"We are very pleased to extend Bradley's time in New York," Red Bulls sporting director Denis Hamlett said in a statement released by the club. "His on-field accomplishments at this club speak for themselves, but that success comes from his dedication and work ethic day in and day out. His character and leadership make him an important part of our group and we look forward to his continued success with the Red Bulls."

Signed in July 2013 after a short stint as a trialist, Wright-Phillips won the Golden Boot in his first full season in MLS, tying the league’s single-season scoring record with 27 goals in 32 games. He recorded 17 goals in 2015, and led the league in scoring again last year, when he tallied 24 strikes in 34 regular season appearances.

Wright-Phillips is the fourth player in league history to record three consecutive seasons with 15 or more goals and the only player in MLS history to record multiple seasons with 20-plus goals. He became the third-fastest player in MLS history to 70 goals when he reached the milestone in his 111th career appearance at Seattle on March 19 – that pace trails only Roy Lassiter (104 games) and Robbie Keane (106).

The English striker and the Red Bulls will return to action on Saturday, when they’ll take on the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium (8:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE).

"I'd like to thank Denis, [head coach] Jesse [Marsch], and everyone at the club for the opportunity to continue wearing this shirt and playing in front of the best fans in MLS," Wright-Phillips said in the statement. "I am very proud of what has been accomplished in my time here, but my sole focus is on trying to win MLS Cup."