Bradley Wright-Phillips
(Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

In preparation of the upcoming 2019 MLS season, which he longs to finally win with the New York Red Bulls, striker Bradley Wright-Phillips scored a hat trick against Phoenix Rising F.C. in a 5-1 win.

New York Red Bulls star forward Bradley Wright-Phillips acted like a bull, indeed, after his side lost to Atlanta United last season in the semifinals.

“It’s still annoying me now but my wife took me to this place called The Wrecking Club. You can buy like a TV, like plasma, printers, keyboards to smash up. I got a crowbar, a sledgehammer and I just smashed things up and I feel better,” Wright-Philips said in a press conference on Dec. 3, just five days after New York’s loss to Atlanta.

Smashing things wasn’t the only thing the 33-year-old wanted to do after his team failed to reach the final when they had such spectacular regular season, in which they broke the record for the most points accumulated.

“At the end of (last) season I wouldn’t take too much of a break and just get fit,” Wright-Phillips said.

He wasn’t joking.

The RNBY all-time scoring leader does look fit in the preseason. Wright-Phillips scored a hat trick in a friendly versus USL side Phoenix Rising F.C. on Sunday to push his team to a comfortable 5-1 victory at Naranja Park in Arizona.

BWP didn’t take too long to open the scoring. He scored the opener in the sixth minute when he headed Michael Murillo’s cross. Later in the 38th minute, the Englishman made it 2-0 after taking the ball from midfield and steering a shot beyond the opposing keeper. The forward completed his hat trick in the 63rd minute.

Kaku and Alex Muyl were New York’s other scorers.

Prior to bowing down to Atlanta in the Eastern Conference final last year, The Metros missed out on five other golden opportunities to win their first ever major trophy in the past four years.

They lost in the final of the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, in the semifinals of the 2017 and 2018 CONCACAF Champions League and the semifinals of the 2014 and 2015 MLS season as well.

Wright-Phillips expressed how frustrating this can be.

“I know that we’re close, even saying this now it just annoys me because it seems like it’s every year. But we are, we’re obviously close we’ve done too many big things to not be close to winners,” the former Premier League player said.

He later added: “Especially for our fans, you know I see things, if a club deserves to win the MLS Cup it’s these guys.”

The last and the only time Wright-Phillips won a major trophy was in 2012 when he helped Charlton Athletic lift the Football League One silverware.

The ex-Manchester City player’s time to help New York win their first MLS Cup might be short because his contract could end after this upcoming season. However whether he’s with New York in 2020 or not doesn’t cluster his mind now, his eyes are solely set on helping the club with their first league trophy.

“I didn’t even think that far ahead,” Wright-Philips said. “If it’s my last year on my contract, I don’t know what’s going to happen or whatever happens. I just want to go and try to win the MLS Cup like I do every year.

“I just want to try to win because for this group of guys, the coaching staff, if we can get to be the first to do that, it’ll just be the best. So I don’t really think about the contract thing, I just think ‘I just want to win the MLS Cup.’”

NYRB will start their MLS season on March 2 with an away match versus Columbus Crew but before that, the club will play a two-legged Champions League fixture against Atletico Pantoja.

They’re away from home on the Feb. 20 and will play the Dominican side at the Red Bull Arena on Feb. 27.

Originally from Haiti, Ralph 'Onz' Chery started his writing career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He also wrote for First Touch, the Cosmopolitan Soccer League and other local leagues. After graduating, Onz started covering the New York Red Bulls for ESNY and joined Haitian Times.