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MLS Player of the Week — Week 3

Bradley Wright-Phillips, Davy Arnaud

New York Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-Phillips (99) is lifted by his teammates after scoring as D.C. United midfielder Davy Arnaud (8) looks on during the first half of an MLS soccer game, Sunday, March 22, 2015, in Harrison, N.J. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)


Given the amount of scoreless ties and clean sheets in Week 3, perhaps you’d expect a goalkeeper or defender to garner laurels for the third edition of MLS in 2015.

There are cries to be heard for NYC keeper Josh Saunders and FC Dallas’ Chris Seitz, amongst others, to be sure. Sporting KC’s Luis Marin also had himself an evening in a 0-0 draw against Portland, too.

[ MLS: Power rankings, Vol. I ]

But for us it comes down to midfielder versus finisher. In this instance, we’re positive Ali Curtis and Jesse Marsch will agree with us.

With Petke protests abounding, New York Red Bulls opened their home season with a big Atlantic Cup match against DC United. It could’ve turned ugly, but two holdovers from the Mike Petke era proved that there’s life after Thierry Henry in a 2-0 win.

But with respect to Luis Robles and his fine saves versus DC, who earns out Player of the Week honors: Dax McCarty or Bradley Wright-Phillips?

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s Week 3 MLS coverage | Standings | Stats | Schedule ]

The case for Dax: Relentless, physical play was McCarty’s game on Sunday at Red Bull Arena, but it was his long ball to BWP that put New York on the board. Even better than the assist was the ginger midfielder’s lunging clearance of a surefire goal earlier in the match. The downside for McCarty was losing Davy Arnaud on the play that led to ultimately unsuccessful DC penalty.

The case for BWP: As usual with Wright-Phillips, it starts with a goal. The 30-year-old British striker stopped to collect McCarty’s long ball before wrong-footing Steven Birnbaum and lashing a shot past Bill Hamid. He then picked up the turnover and sent a through ball that Lloyd Sam finished to make it 2-0, and could’ve easily had an assist on a third RBNY goal had Hamid not stopped Sam in tight late.

It’s BWP, and almost surely not for the final time this season.

MLS Players of the Week

Week 1: Tyler Deric, Houston Dynamo

Week 2: Chris Wondolowski, San Jose Earthquakes

Week 3: Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls

Follow @NicholasMendola