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Report: Gerard Houllier saved Bradley Wright-Phillips' career with the New York Red Bulls

Thank you, Gerard. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Barrington Coombs/Getty Images

Kristian Dyer, the Bradley Wright-Phillips of New York Red Bulls scoops, crammed a lot of news into a three-minute segment for MSG Networks on Sunday, October 16.

Foremost among the cascade of RBNY stories he unleashed on MSG: BWP was very nearly cut by the Red Bulls before the beginning of the 2014 season.

That decision would have been a relief to those who seem determined to snub or diminish BWP's achievements. If he had been cut before the 2014 season began, Wright-Phillips would never have tied the all-time MLS single-season scoring record: 27 goals. He would never have tied the all-time MLS back-to-back regular-season season scoring record: 44 goals. He would never have broken the all-time MLS scoring record for goals in three consecutive seasons, which currently stands at 67 goals. He would never have become the only player in MLS history to twice score 20+ goals in the regular season.

He would never have been the most productive scorer in RBNY history. And a lot of self-proclaimed MLS experts wouldn't have to explain why BWP wasn't MLS MVP in 2014, when he tied a league scoring record, but David Villa might be if he can manage simply to win this year's Golden Boot (and if BWP wins the Golden Boot, it seems the consensus shifts to the notion that a Golden Boot is no big deal and Sacha Kljestan will be MVP).

The man responsible for changing the course of RBNY history and causing an unnecessary amount of consternation within the MLS pundit class: Gerard Houllier.

He was Red Bull Global Soccer's top man in 2014, and Dyer reports it was Houllier who intervened and told RBNY to hang on to BWP. The rest is a magnificent chapter in the club's history.

Further to that revelation, Dyer also reported that BWP has triggered an automatic renewal of his contract. He is expected to return to RBNY for 2017.

What BWP has done with the reprieve Houllier won on his behalf is entirely down to BWP. And no one - probably not even the pathologically modest player himself - expected he would be the league's standout scorer over three years.

But Once A Metro must thank Gerard Houllier from saving RBNY from itself and persuading (we're guessing) Andy Roxburgh and Mike Petke to give Wright-Phillips a full year to prove himself after a modest mid-season introduction to the league in 2013. Soccer is greedy and relentless in its demands on players: it is always about what the player does next. So far in his RBNY career, all BWP has done next is raise the bar for the striker position ever higher.

For that: thank you, BWP.

And thank you, Gerard Houllier, for steering RBNY away from yet another short-sighted personnel decision.