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Fewer Goals, Greater Regard for Red Bull Striker Bradley Wright-Phillips

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Striker Bradley Wright-Phillips (99) of the Red Bulls after scoring in a playoff match against D.C. United in November. “He did basically everything for us,” his teammate Dax McCarty said.

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Julio Cortez/Associated Press

HARRISON, N.J. — It is hard to argue with the results, even if the cold, spare statistics of soccer suggest otherwise. Bradley Wright-Phillips and his teammates insist that Wright-Phillips, their high-scoring, heel-clicking striker, has been a more efficient player, and the Red Bulls a better team, since he avoided the net-bending feats he accomplished in 2014.

A goal is precious in this sport. Wright-Phillips managed 27 of those celebratory moments in 2014, tying the league record. He scored a more reasonable 17 last season, when Kei Kamara of the Columbus Crew and Sebastian Giovinco of Toronto F.C. succeeded him as the league’s scoring leaders. Yet the Red Bulls won more matches in 2015 and finished at the top of the league…

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