On April 24, 2016, Bradley Wright-Phillips scored the 52nd goal of his New York Red Bulls' career. One might argue Mike Grella's cross/shot was going in anyway - but it was BWP's foot that touched it last.
In that moment, BWP experienced something only two other players have known in the history of this twice-named club: the scoring of 52 career goals for RBNY. The others are Thierry Henry...
...and Juan Pablo Angel.
That's it. Those are the three times a player has scored a 52nd career goal for RBNY in the 20 years of its existence. And in the case of Henry, it was his last for the club.
Six minutes later in the same match against Orlando City which brought his 52nd tally for his current club, BWP entered an even more exclusive group: those who have scored 53 times for RBNY.
Only Juan Pablo Angel has matched (and exceeded - he finished his RBNY career with 62 goals in all competitions) that achievement.
BWP's slow start to this season has been frustrating for any RBNY fan, and certainly for the player himself. But he finished last year on the cusp of becoming the club's second-highest scorer of all time. And one reason it has felt as though BWP has abruptly lost form is due to the simple fact that he remains - in terms of minutes-played-per-goal - quite simply the most frequent scorer of the club's all-time scoring greats:
|Juan Pablo Angel
Only seven players in RBNY history have scored more than 30 career goals for the club, and not one has scored as frequently as BWP.
If his current slow scoring rate persists (just two goals in eight appearances), then he won't retain that record for long: he is essentially running close to the same pace as JPA and Giovanni Savarese, and will fall below them if he doesn't get back on track.
But don't let the future obscure the past: if you have watched BWP since he first appeared for RBNY in 2013, you have watched an extraordinary scoring spree for the club.
It cannot be disputed that BWP has been enduring one of his worst slumps in form (with regard to scoring) since he joined RBNY. But it should be noted that he has been slumping by the standard of the best sustained record of multi-season goal scoring in club history, and that standard is his own.
Congrats on goals number 52 and 53, BWP. And may the next follow shortly.