Wright-Phillips named Red Bulls' designated player

MLS Golden Boot winner Bradley Wright-Phillips has become New York Red Bulls' new designated player following Thierry Henry's departure.

The Red Bulls announced on Wednesday that Englishman Wright-Phillips - who topped the scoring charts with 27 regular-season goals - will be handed a new and improved deal after French veteran Henry ended his four-and-a-half year stay in New York.

Henry's exit after New York narrowly missed out on a spot in the MLS Cup final freed up the designated player position and the Red Bulls wasted little time rewarding 29-year-old Wright-Phillips, who netted 31 goals in all competitions and lost out to Los Angeles Galaxy captain Robbie Keane for the 2014 Most Valuable Player award on Wednesday.

MLS' Designated Player Rule allows teams to sign a player outside of the salary cap.

"Following his outstanding performances in 2014, which produced 31 goals in all competitions, the club has decided to make Bradley Wright-Phillips a MLS Designated Player," said New York Red Bulls Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh. 

"Bradley is not only a prolific goal scorer, he is an excellent professional and a great team player who will be a big asset to the club in the coming seasons."

Wright-Phillips has scored 28 MLS goals in 39 games since joining from Brentford in 2013.