The MLS bypassed ex-New York Red Bulls man Bradley Wright-Phillips in its Best XI of the Decade, but is it really unjust?
After all the goals Bradley Wright-Phillips scored in the MLS, is the league being naughty by not putting him in their Best XI of the Decade on Christmas Eve? It’s hard to be naughty on Christmas Eve.
Some absolute ⭐s on this squad!
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— Major League Soccer (@MLS) December 24, 2019
There’s a strong argument that Wright-Phillips does deserve his spot in the Best XI of the Decade.
He won the most Golden Boots this decade, bagging the accolade twice. He became the fastest player to score 100 MLS goals in 2018.
The forward is the seventh all-time top scorer in the league, notching 108 goals in 195 appearances–he joined the MLS in 2013, therefore, all of his 108 goals are from this decade.
And not to forget, Wright-Phillips helped the New York Red Bulls win three Supporters’ Shields. How did he not get selected for the Bext XI of the Decade?
To answer that question, it would be wise to look at which players were picked over him: Chris Wondolowski, Sebastian Giovinco and Robbie Keane.
Wondolowski is the only other MLSer beside Wright-Phillips who won the Golden Boot twice this decade. He also won the MVP award once unlike the Englishman.
Wondolowski became the all-time MLS top scorer on May 18, 2019, when he only netted seven MLS goals before this decade. Would it be fair for the MLS to drop their all-time top scorer out of their Best XI of the Decade?
As for Giovinco, Wright-Phillips found the net 40 more times than him. But of course, soccer isn’t all about scoring–even as a forward.
The Italian recorded 52 assists compared to Wright-Phillips’s 28 while playing in 81 fewer games. In 2015, Giovinco was the league’s top assist provider, top scorer, best newcomer and MVP. His name is in the MLS book for notching the most combined goals and assists, tallying 22 goals and 16 assists in 2015.
The 32-year-old also helped Toronto win the MLS Cup in 2017, something Wright-Phillips has never done. It makes sense to give Giovinco the nod over Wright-Phillips.
Moving on to Keane, the Irishman racked 83 goals and 45 assists this decade compared to Wright-Phillips’ 108 goals and 28 assists. But Keane won three MLS Cups with the Galaxy as well as one MLS Cup MVP and a regular-season MVP award.
He racked six goals in six playoffs games in 2012 to help L.A. win the league and an extra-time winner in the 2014 final. It’s tough not to put Keane in the MLS Best XI.
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