BWP, Kljestan named to MLS Best XI
December 5, 2016 (Official Press Release)
New York Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-Phillips and midfielder Sacha Kljestan have been named to the MLS Best XI for 2016, Major League Soccer announced today. New York's pair of MLS MVP finalists both enjoyed record-setting seasons, leading New York to the best record in the Eastern Conference for the second-consecutive year.
It is the second MLS Best XI nod for each player. Kljestan made MLS' Best XI in 2008 with Chivas USA, while Wright-Phillips earned the honor in 2014 after winning his first MLS Golden Boot.
Wright-Phillips won his second MLS Golden Boot with 24 goals this season, becoming the first player in league history to record multiple seasons with 20 or more goals in their MLS career. BWP also set a new mark for the most productive three-season stretch in league history, with 68 goals since the start of the 2014 season.
Wright-Phillips also topped the club record books, setting new franchise marks for career regular-season goals (69), game-winning goals (20), multi-goal games (16) and hat tricks (4). The Red Bulls went 10-0-6 in 2016 when Wright-Phillips scored a goal.
Kljestan had a career-year of his own, becoming the second player in MLS history to reach the 20-assist mark, and breaking the franchise record for single-season assists along the way. Kljestan's play also saw him reclaim a spot with the U.S. National Team during a crucial point in World Cup qualification.
The midfielder is the club's all-time leader in assists per-game, averaging 0.51 over two seasons in New York, and his 10 career game-winning assists are one behind Thierry Henry's franchise record. New York was 11-1-6 when Kljestan got on the score sheet this year.
The two combined on 10 scoring plays, with Kljestan setting up Wright-Phillips eight times, BWP returning the favor once, and both combining to set up a goal for midfielder Felipe as well.
All-Time NY players in MLS Best XI:
1996: Roberto Donadoni
2000: Clint Mathis
2001: Tim Howard
2002: Tim Howard
2003: Eddie Pope
2004: Eddie Gaven, Amado Guevara, Eddie Pope
2007: Juan Pablo Angel
2011: Thierry Henry
2012: Thierry Henry
2013: Tim Cahill
2014: Thierry Henry, Bradley Wright-Phillips
2015: Dax McCarty, Luis Robles
2016: Sacha Kljestan, Bradley Wright-Phillips