The San Jose Earthquakes' Chris Wondolowski (pictured) believes that Bradley Wright-Phillips of 2014/15 CCL qualifier New York Red Bulls is capable of breaking the MLS single-season record for most goals scored by a player. (Photo: Denis Concordel/www.widgic.com)
HARRISON, New Jersey -- Chris Wondolowski knows a thing or two about goal-scorers. He can look into the mirror and see one of the best in Major League Soccer.
So, when it comes to appreciating what Bradley Wright-Phillips is accomplishing for the New York Red Bulls, there are few Americans in the league capable of understanding it better.
Wright-Phillips leads MLS with an astonishing 17 goals in 19 games.
"He has been playing great," the United States international said after his San Jose Earthquakes played the Red Bulls to a 1-1 draw at Red Bull Arena last weekend.
With 14 games remaining in the Red Bulls' season, Wright-Phillips is not only on target to shatter the single-season club record of 19 goals -- set by Juan Pablo Angel in 2007 -- but he is on course to break the league record of 27. That mark was set in 1996 by former United States international Roy Lassiter and equaled by Wondolowski two years ago.
If the 29-year-old Wright-Phillips continues on this pace, he’s projected to finish with 29 goals.
"He definitely has a good chance at it," expressed Wondolowski. "He has been playing really well. He can continue to do it. I think he has a very high chance of doing it.”
Against the Earthquakes, Wright-Phillips converted a penalty kick in the 33rd minute to give the Red Bulls a 1-0 lead.
"It's a lot of confidence when you see the ball hit the back of the net," Wondolowski said. "You want the ball more.”
Many, if not all strikers, are streaky. They get hot and it seems that everything they touch turns to goal. Then, without reason, the well runs dry and sitters become frustrating misses.
A 10-year MLS veteran, Wondo has been through the highs and lows. It comes down to opportunities.
"You always need some chances," he noted. "Any time you get only one chance a game you're not going to score many goals. His teammates have been doing a real great job of creating a lot of opportunities and he's been doing a great job of getting himself on the end of them.”
It will be interesting to see if Wright-Phillips can continue his amazing run through next month, when the Red Bulls open their CONCACAF Champions League campaign at home against El Salvador’s FAS on August 26.