Wright-Phillips dealt with injuries during 2019, which proved to be his seventh and final year with the New York Red Bulls. He was limited to two goals and four assists in 24 games (nine starts), fading from RBNY's spotlight after helping the club to three Supporters' Shield titles (2013, '15, '18) and twice winning the MLS Golden Boot award (2014, '16).
In LAFC, the 35-year-old has rediscovered his goalscoring touch, finishing with eight goals and six assists in 18 matches (14 starts). Especially with Carlos Vela out injured for most of the year, Wright-Phillips often led LAFC's offense alongside the Golden Boot presented by Audi winner Diego Rossi.
"After my season last year, I was very frustrated, a tough one to get through," Wright-Phillips said on a conference call with media following the announcement. "To get Comeback Player of the Year, it's a big deal for me."
Wright-Phillips added that the tough circumstances of this year, having moved his family across the country and dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic made the award even more special.
"I've been working hard for offseason, my family's had to sacrifice and it's good to kind of get reward at the end," he said. "Obviously we want to win MLS Cup as a team but, personally, it's a nice award to get because yeah lots going into this year, it's been tough for everyone."
With BWP's contributions, LAFC earned the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference standings, resulting in a Round One match against the Seattle Sounders. The 2019 Supporters' Shield winners took a step back results-wise, but the veteran proved that he's still an extremely effective finisher in MLS.
The Comeback Player of the Year award was voted on by MLS club technical staff, media and current MLS players. Below is a breakdown of the voting results:
|Bradley Wright-Phillips (LAFC)||39.01%||37.72%||43.25%||39.99%|
|Kevin Molino (MIN)||19.58%||28.95%||17.13%||21.89%|
|Milton Valenzuela (CLB)||4.52%||14.04%||8.57%||9.04%|
|Florian Valot (NY)||4.22%||6.14%||8.99%||6.45%|
|Brek Shea (MIA)||7.98%||1.75%||5.57%||5.10%|
|Carles Gil (NE)||4.37%||2.63%||2.78%||3.26%|
|Michael Bradley (TOR)||4.67%||3.51%||1.50%||3.23%|
|Jaroslaw Niezgoda (POR)||2.11%||2.63%||4.93%||3.22%|
MLS Comeback Player of the Year Winners
- 2020: Bradley Wright-Phillips - LAFC
- 2019: Jordan Morris – Seattle Sounders FC
- 2018: Gyasi Zardes – Columbus Crew SC
- 2017: Clint Dempsey – Seattle Sounders FC
- 2016: Chris Pontius – Philadelphia Union
- 2015: Tim Melia – Sporting Kansas City
- 2014: Rodney Wallace – Portland Timbers
- 2013: Kevin Alston – New England Revolution
- 2012: Eddie Johnson – Seattle Sounders FC
- 2011: David Beckham – LA Galaxy
- 2010: Bobby Convey – San Jose Earthquakes
- 2009: Zach Thornton – Chivas USA
- 2008: Kenny Cooper – FC Dallas
- 2007: Eddie Johnson – Kansas City Wizards
- 2006: Richard Mulrooney – FC Dallas
- 2005: Chris Klein – Kansas City Wizards
- 2004: Brian Ching – San Jose Earthquakes
- 2003: Chris Armas – Chicago Fire
- 2002: Chris Klein – Kansas City Wizards
- 2001: Troy Dayak – San Jose Earthquakes
- 2000: Tony Meola – Kansas City Wizards