Bradley Wright-Phillips learned that his No. 99 will be retired when he leaves the team. (Noah K. Murray – USA TODAY Sports)
HARRISON, N.J. — Regardless what he does the rest of his Red Bulls career, one thing is certain about Bradley Wright-Phillips:
No one will ever wear No. 99 after he retires as a player.
The Red Bulls honored BWP’s 100th goal for the organization by announcing that no player will wear his number ever again in the organization.
General Manager Marc de Grandpre said that the No. 99 will never be issued to another player. The number will not be issued throughout the entire organization, from the Academy to the MLS team.
Wright-Phillips recently became the fastest MLS player to score 100 regular season goals, doing so in 159 matches.
He was also honored with a special game ball, a commemorative one-of-a-kind hat and a special watch, with “100” hand-etched on the back.
BWP has tallied 118 goals for the Red Bulls across all competitions, including the MLS Cup Playoffs, U.S. Open Cup and Concacaf Champions League.
Wright-Phillips played his first MLS match Aug. 25, 2013 against Chivas USA. Five matches later, BWP scored his first league goal at Houston Oct. 20.
The next season he went on to score 27 regular-season goals, securing his first MLS Golden Boot. BWP scored 24 goals in 2016 and a second MLS Golden Boot.
With 17 goals in 2017, Wright-Phillips became the second player in MLS history to record 15-plus goals in four consecutive seasons, joining Robbie Keane.
Only three other players in league history have scored 15+ goals in three or more consecutive seasons. As per Elias Sports Bureau, 18 players have scored 20 or more goals in an MLS season, while BWP is one of only two players in league history to do so twice in their MLS career.
In his career, BWP has notched 198 goals through the MLS, EFL League One, EFL Championship, MLS Cup Playoffs, U.S. Open Cup, CONCACAF Champions League, EFL Cup and Premier League.
Wright-Phillips became the 11th player in MLS history to reach the century mark in goal. He is tied for 10th all-time in league goals with 100 (with Edson Buddle); next on the list is Taylor Twellman, at 101.
Wright-Phillips stands third among active MLS players, behind Chris Wondolowski (140) and Kei Kamara (106), who are second and seventh all-time, respectively.