Harrison, N.J. (Dec. 6, 2018) – The New York Red Bulls have named Bradley Wright-Phillips as the team’s Most Valuable Player, Aaron Long as the Defender of the Year, Kaku as the Newcomer of the Year and Luis Robles as the Humanitarian of the Year, the team announced today.
Wright-Phillips, 33, had another stellar season with New York, as he broke multiple league records and continued to rise in MLS’ all-time scoring record book. BWP became the fastest player in MLS history to 100 goals as he recorded the feat in just 159 matches, surpassing Taylor Twellman’s mark of 174 games to 100. He became the first player in league history to score at least 15 goals over five consecutive seasons and to record at least 20 goals in a season three different times in a career. Wright-Phillips’ 20 league goals this season raised his career total to 106, which places him eighth all-time.
Long quickly rose as one of the league’s best defenders in just his second season with the Red Bulls first team. The Oak Hills, California, native garnered MLS’ Defender of the Year and Best XI honors as he anchored a Red Bulls defense that recorded 15 shutouts and allowed a league-low 33 goals in 34 games. Long was also named an MLS All-Star and garnered his first call-up and start for the United States Men’s National Team.
Kaku had a strong debut for New York in just his first MLS season. The Red Bulls’ first Young Designated Player recorded seven goals and 16 assists in 2,958 minutes played across all competitions. All six of his league goals were game winners and his 14 league assists ranked seventh in MLS. Kaku also earned his first call-up and action for the Paraguayan National team this season.
Robles is in his third year serving as the spokesman for the Tackle Kids Cancer Campaign. Robles and his wife, Cara, hosted a second-annual fundraising dinner and silent auction, with 100 percent of money raised going directly to research to end childhood cancer. The end of Robles’ 183-game iron-man streak was honored by Robles and the Red Bulls donating $18,300 to a family currently undergoing pediatric cancer patients. The Red Bulls and Tackle Kids Cancer also teamed up to wear custom cleats, designed by players and pediatric cancer patients, for the September home match against Toronto FC.
Robles makes monthly visits to children's hospitals on his own time, and volunteers at soccer clinics for underprivileged children, leads the team in community relations efforts on behalf of the Red Bulls, and assists with clinics in his hometown.
New York completed a historic season in 2018, winning MLS’ Supporters’ Shield for the third time in the last six seasons with a league-record 22 wins (post-shootout ERA), 71 points, and 43 points. Alongside their league records, the Red Bulls set franchise records in league play in home wins (14), clean sheets (15), and goal differential (+29).