** COURTESY NEW YORK RED BULLS**
NEW YORK (Friday, June 3, 2016) – New York Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-Phillips was voted Etihad Airways MLS Player of the Month by fans on MLSsoccer.com for the month of May of the 2016 MLS season.
The England native had one of the best months of his career scoring six goals and notching two assists in May and now sits tied for second in the Golden Boot standings with eight goals this season. In equaling the highest goal-scoring month of his MLS career, Wright-Phillips helped lead the Red Bulls to a 3-1-1 record during the month, placing the team second in the Eastern Conference standings (19 points, 6-7-1 record). New York is now 4-0-1 on the season when Wright-Phillips scores a goal or records an assist.
Wright-Phillips’ first goal of the month came in the Red Bull’s 1-1 draw against Orlando City SC at a packed Camping World Stadium with over 31,000 fans in attendance on May 6. The 2014 Audi Golden Boot winner scored his team’s only goal of the match in the 19th minute, as he made a run into the box and sent a shot past sprawling goalkeeper Joe Bendik for the early advantage. Two weeks later, Wright-Phillips would serve up his first assist of the season in New York’s 1-0 victory over Chicago Fire at Red Bull Arena on May 18. With the match tied in the 58th minute, Wright-Phillips opportunistically stole a pass and pushed up field, making the initial play that lead to Mike Grella’s game-winning goal .
Taking center stage in a Heineken Rivalry Week matchup televised nationally on FOX, Wright-Phillips scored two goals and recorded one assist in the Red Bull’s 7-0 defeat of rival New York City FC on May 21 at Yankee Stadium. Wright-Phillips made his mark on the match with his first goal in the 42nd minute of play, heading a Grella cross into the back of the net for a 2-0 Red Bulls lead. Minutes later, Wright-Phillips added a bicycle kick goal past diving goalkeeper Josh Saunders in first half stoppage time to give his squad a 3-0 advantage. Wright-Phillips would then assist on New York native Alex Muyl’s first career MLS goal in the 56th minute, stealing a pass and setting up Muyl perfectly in front of the net.
A perfect end to an incredible month came last week as Wright-Phillips scored the fastest hat trick to start a game in MLS history, leading NYRB to a 3-0 victory over Toronto FC at Red Bull Arena on May 28. The first goal of the match came in the fourth minute when Wright-Phillips headed a Sacha Kljestan free kick into the back of net for an early 1-0 lead. In the 25th minute, Wright-Phillips scored his second goal of the match after creating space in the box and megging the defender with a shot into the back of the net. Moments later, Wright-Phillips capped his unbelievable month with his third goal, hammering home a shot from just outside the six-yard box for a 3-0 Red Bull lead.
After the two-week break for Copa America Centenario, the New York Red Bulls return to MLS play with MLS Soccer Sunday action on June 19 against Seattle Sounders FC at Red Bull Arena (7:30 p.m. ET, FS1/FOX Deportes).
Voting for MLS Player of the Month presented by Etihad is open to public. The five final nominees are chosen by MLSsoccer.com editorial staff.
May Voting Results
New York Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-Phillips – 29.01%
Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Zach MacMath – 19.44%
New York Red Bulls midfielder Sacha Kljestan – 18.5%
Montreal Impact midfielder Ignacio Piatti – 17.63%
New York City FC forward David Villa – 15.43%