Bradley Wright-Phillips was back in action for the Red Bulls. (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
HARRISON, N.J. — For the first time in more than two months, a familiar number was seen on the pitch at Red Bull Arena.
No. 99 — aka Bradley Wright-Phillips — played for the Red Bulls in their 3-1 win over the Chicago Fire.
Sidelined by a groin injury since April 20, BWP came off the bench, replacing Brian White in the 66th minute. He set up Daniel Royer’s stoppage-time goal.
“Yeah, it was amazing to be out there,” Wright-Phillips said. “I was like a kid, man, back at school. It was so much fun, but I did realize tonight that soccer is difficult. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be, but it was nice to just get my legs under me, just get the feel of the ball and play in front of the crowd.”
If the Red Bulls are going to do anything this year, BWP will have to be a big part of it. He has been a scoring machine since he joined the team years ago, filling the net on a regular basis.
“The game demanded what Brad could give and we didn’t think too much about the emotion of it,” head coach Chris Armas said. “It’s great to have him back. It was a big lift in the locker room before the game.”
Added Kaku, who scored a goal: “Very happy to have him back because he is very important based on what he creates and what he conveys to everyone else. He is very important to the youngsters on the team and where I come from, that is something I very much value.”
The next step for Wright-Phillips would be to start.
“For me now, it’s about fitness,” he said. “Just helping out where I can, and yeah, it’s one step in the right direction.”