Jacksonville Sports Day

MLS: Wright-Phillips Says NYRB-Atlanta Series Victor Will Win Cup

Photo Courtesy NYRB

ATLANTA — New York Red Bulls star striker Bradley Wright-Phillips concisely summed up his impression of the Supporters’ Shield winners’ upcoming series against No. 2-seeded Atlanta United: “[It’s] just a heavyweight clash,” Wright-Phillips said. “I do think whoever wins that [series] will win MLS Cup.”

The top-seeded Red Bulls head to Atlanta for Leg 1 of the Eastern Conference Championship on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET / FS1, TSN, TVA Sports).

The marquee series features the league’s top two regular season teams: NYRB (22-7-5, MLS-record 71 points) and Atlanta (21-7-6, 69 points).

While Atlanta has drawn hype with Josef Martinez’s league-record 31-goal season and MLS-record attendance figures, Wright-Phillips and the Red Bulls quietly put together the best season in league history.

The English striker became the first MLS player to score 20 or more goals in three straight seasons while eclipsing 100 goals for his career. NYRB’s depth also shone against Atlanta without Wright-Phillips, as the Red Bulls garnered a 2-0 victory on Sept. 30 when he served a one-game, yellow-card accumulation suspension.

Wright-Phillips is back for this go-around, and if NYRB can maintain its all-time unbeaten record (3-0-1) against the second-year side, an MLS Cup destination would be in the Red Bulls’ cards.

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