The Problem With the BWP MVP Snub

The league leader in goals for 2014 left off the list
by Daniel Feuerstein   |   Friday, November 21, 2014

Branded Bulls – column on Red Bull NY (RBNY – NYRB) & the New Jersey area soccer scene.

When you talk about a player that exemplifies a Most Valuable Player award, you normally think about how they lead their side on a solid run into the playoffs or a first place finish. Or if you can say that a player has improved and been automatic from the beginning of the season till the end, then that would also constitute an MVP candidate.

The three finalists that were announced for the 2014 MLS MVP Regular season award were Lee Nguyen of the New England Revolution, Robbie Keane of the Los Angeles Galaxy and Obafemi Martins of the Seattle Sounders.

And while these three men are excellent choices, there seems to be a certain omission of a gentleman that converted 27 goals in a season and tied a league record. That man is none other than Bradley Wright-Phillips, who plays for the New York Red Bulls.

Lee Nguyen deserves his spot as he has been an offensive terror for the Revolution scoring goals and setting up others for goals as well. Improving his play and finally getting a national team call up for that friendly against Colombia in London. Obafemi Martins paired up with Clint Dempsey and winning the supporters shield for the 2014 season also allows him to earn his spot for the award.

While Robbie Keane has plenty of help being on the same side as Landon Donovan, I think we can also agree that Wright-Phillips had some help from Thierry Henry, but in all fairness Wright-Phillips has been marching down the field and converted 27 times with 3 hat tricks in a season and nearly got a fourth in the final regular season game at Sporting Kansas City.

While the argument about having Henry assisting on Wright-Phillips goals at least half of them are secondary assists meaning he passed the ball to Roy Miller, Eric Alexander, Lloyd Sam, Ambroise Oyongo and a few others that helped out Wright-Phillips to earn those 27 goals.

The Golden Boot is a nice award to have and Bradley Wright-Phillips has earned that award for the end of the 2014 Regular Season, but not to be mentioned as a finalist or at least nominated by MLS for this amazing feat that nearly was broken is a shame and a travesty. The last time a New York player was nominated for an award was back in 2010 when Tim Ream was nominated for Rookie of the Year.

He was with DC United Striker Andy Najar and Danny Mwanga of the Philadelphia Union, all three men looked pretty good but sad to say Najar won the award as he scored only 5 goals in 26 games, while Tim Ream played every single game in the 2010 regular season as a central defender and was solid helping his keeper then in Bouna Coundoul. A strong run of solid defensive plays and scored once but Ream played in every single match from start to finish.

Something about Red Bull players who have fantastic seasons or solid seasons that should be nominated or should win an award gets snubbed because there is a certain bias against them for no reason. To those who support this side and expected to see Wright-Phillips name on the ballot for MVP have already started to feel the league wants no part of this club having some form of success.

I don’t know if it’s true or not, but one thing is for sure is that the MVP omission on Wright-Phillips is a large and glaring hole that shouldn’t have happened in the first place. But once again I don’t make up the rules of who should be nominated for an award from the league.

NEXT UP: November 23 — MLS playoffs: Red Bull New York vs. New England Revolution, Red Bull Arena, Harrison, N.J. 1:30 p.m., NBC.


Ramapo College
Club Domestic:
Red Bull NY
Club Foreign:
PSG, ManU, Maccabbi Haifa
Original New York Cosmos fan, reborn soccer fan since 1994 USA World Cup. Feuerstein’s Fire podcast host. Covers NY Red Bulls for SN, and promotes all levels of American soccer from both sides of issues.