HARRISON, N.J. – Bradley Wright-Phillips has been one of the two main offensive catalysts in the New York Red Bulls’ recent run of good form, but it now looks like the club will have to cope without him.
Already without injured midfielder Lloyd Sam, the Red Bulls received bad news in the first half of their 1-0 victory over FC Dallas on Sunday as Wright-Phillips was forced to come off with a right hamstring injury. Wright-Phillips picked up the knock without contact around the half-hour mark on a play that saw fellow forward Thierry Henry nearly play him through on goal, and the Englishman is now a significant injury concern heading into this Sunday's all-important road game against the Seattle Sounders (9 pm ET, ESPN).
“It just happened, no clue,” said Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke when asked about the seriousness of the knock. “We know that it was serious enough that he had to be taken off the field, he couldn’t continue. But as how severe it is, I have no clue. I’ll have that in the next day or so.”
A prognosis may be forthcoming but judging from the looks of it, Wright-Phillips, who has started all four games in New York's current winning streak, is likely to miss at least this weekend's visit to CenturyLink Field for a match with huge Supporters' Shield implications.
The veteran forward clutched his right hamstring as he was poised for a clean breakaway against FC Dallas and immediately went to ground, throwing a fist of frustration into the turf as he laid on his back while awaiting the medical team to tend to him.
The body language spoke of someone who knew he was set for a spell on the sidelines.
“You saw he was a little dejected. It didn’t look like a good one,” said midfielder Dax McCarty. “Hopefully it’s just a light maybe one-two week one, but hamstrings, I don’t ever want to mess with those. I don’t know what it is.
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“I’m upset for him because I think he’s been a really big addition for us. I think he does a lot of little things that don’t show up on the stat sheet and he’s also been a little bit unlucky to not get a goal. We hope that he’s okay."
If Wright-Phillips is unable to go vs. the Sounders, Petke will have to turn to one of Fabian Espindola or Peguy Luyindula to partner Henry. Espindola and Luyindula were both summoned to warm-up up shortly after Wright-Phillips sustained the injury on Sunday before Petke chose to insert the former.
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached by e-mail at Franco8813@gmail.com.