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Wright-Phillips' quest for 28

Where we look at how Bradley Wright-Phillips has done against the remaining opponents for the Red Bulls, and what it means for his chase of the goal scoring record.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Bradley Wright-Phillips currently sits at 24 goals scored after 29 games played by the New York Red Bulls. The 24 goals has him currently tied at #5 with Carlos Ruiz's 2004 season for the single season goal record. He is 3 goals away from tying the league record of 27 goals in a season, set by Roy Lassiter in the inaugural 1996 season, and matched by Chris Wondolowski in 2012. If he manages to score first goals, not only will he be break the record, he will be the first non-US player to hold the distinction.

With 5 games left, Wright-Phillips needs to average 0.6 goals per game to tie the record and 0.8 to break the record. Here is how the Ultimate Scoring Machine has stood up the Red Bulls last five opponents. These stats include the 2013 Conference Semifinals against the Houston Dynamo.

Team H/A # of Previous Meetings Goals Minutes Goals Per Game G/90
LA Galaxy Away 0 0 0 0 0
Houston Dynamo Home 6 6 359 1.00 1.50
Toronto FC Home 3 1 259 0.33 0.35
Columbus Crew Home 2 2 172 1.00 1.05
Sporting Kansas City Away 2 2 179 1.00 1.01
Total 13 11 969 0.85 1.02

Here's how BWP has done in the games against these opponents since he joined the team in June 2013.

Columbus Crew

Team H/A Date Goals Minutes
Columbus Crew Away 4/26/2014 1 90
Columbus Crew Home 7/12/2014 1 82

The more impressive of BWP's two goals against the Crew came in April of this year. Trailing 1-0, Wright-Phillips received a ball behind him in the box, controlled it before whipping around for a shot that banked off the post.

Houston Dynamo

Team H/A Date Goals Minutes
Houston Dynamo Away 9/8/2013 0 90
Houston Dynamo Away 10/20/2013 1 28
Houston Dynamo Away 11/3/2013* 0 8
Houston Dynamo Home 11/6/2013* 0 63
Houston Dynamo Home 4/23/2014 3 90
Houston Dynamo Away 7/4/2014 2 80

* Denotes a MLS Playoff game

BWP has by far had the most success against the Dynamo, scoring 1.50 goals every 90 minutes. His hat trick at home on April 23rd was one of three on the season (so far).

Sporting Kansas City

Team H/A Date Goals Minutes
Sporting KC Away 5/27/2014 1 89
Sporting KC Home 9/6/2014 1 90

The Red Bulls have had surprising success against Sporting KC this year. BWP has 2 goals against the defending MLS Cup winner. His goal in the first match was the reason the Red Bulls were able to escape Sporting Park with a point back in May.

Toronto FC

Team H/A Date Goals Minutes
Toronto FC Home 9/14/2013 0 79
Toronto FC Away 5/17/2014 0 90
Toronto FC Home 6/27/2014 1 90

Wright-Phillips wasn't able to break through on Toronto FC until a June match that saw the Red Bull "steal" a point a home. That might be a symptom of the Red Bulls not having the best of luck against Toronto in recent seasons. His goal back in June though was again an equalizer, and was another goal at a critical time.

Overall Odds

The journey for #28 will continue in LA on Sunday against a Galaxy side looking to make Landon Donovan's last season a memorable one. It'll be a tough test as the Galaxy have not lost a MLS match (5-0-2, 17 pts) since August 16th. In that span, the Galaxy have secured three shutouts and 2 games with only 1 goal against. Then it's three straight home games (Houston, Toronto, Columbus), which will present the chance for Wright-Phillips to make history. He should reach at least #27 before heading to Sporting KC to end the season.

Chances (with no real math behind it): 75% in favor of breaking the record.