More than four months have passed since Bradley Wright-Phillips went consecutive matches without a goal. Consider the Montreal Impact and New York Red Bulls' record book on high alert.
If that trend continues against visiting Montreal on Saturday night, the New York striker will join Juan Pablo Angel atop the club's single-season scoring list.
Angel scored 19 goals in 24 regular-season starts for the Red Bulls in 2007. Wright-Phillips has 18 goals in 22 matches - 19 starts - and 17 of those finishes have come in a 16-start stretch beginning with an April 23 hat trick.
Matching the team mark will mean Wright-Phillips extending his streak without two straight goalless games to 17, which he'll try to do after New York's 1-0 defeat in Chicago on Aug. 10.
After an extended layoff, the Red Bulls (6-7-10) play seven of their remaining 11 league games at home. Any advantages, though, could be offset by coach Mike Petke's side beginning CONCACAF Champions League group play Tuesday, which complicates lineup selection, though he stressed the importance of their remaining Eastern Conference matches.
New York has 28 points, one clear of New England and Philadelphia for the final playoff spot in the East.
"We're obviously taking Champions League very seriously," Petke told the club's official website. "The scheduling part about it is not great, but you have to deal with that and you have to figure out what the best route to go is. Montreal is a huge game, not just because it's a MLS game, but because it's also a conference game. Those are huge."
Jamison Olave's return makes things a bit easier for the Red Bulls after a two-game suspension for violent conduct against Real Salt Lake on July 30. The Colombian defender has started 18 matches for New York and figures to help solidify a back line that's gone eight matches without a clean sheet for the first time since 2012.
"It's good, I mean his presence obviously and the way the guys in this league, the guys know about him," teammate Thierry Henry told the club's official website. "They know how strong he is."
The Impact and Red Bulls played to a 2-all draw in Montreal on April 5, one of four 90-minute efforts from Wright-Phillips that did not produce a goal. Striking partner Henry didn't appear in that match but has scored seven goals in four career games against the Impact.
At home, the Red Bulls have had no shortage of scoring against the Impact, going 3-0-0 with an 11-3 aggregate advantage.
The Impact (4-14-5) are last in MLS with 17 points, and though they're coming off a 1-0 home win over the Fire last Saturday that ended a seven-match losing streak, road contests have been unbearable for the club with an 0-8-3 record. Montreal's skid of 16 league matches without a road win dating to last season is easily a franchise worst.
Including Champions League matches, though, the Impact have won three of four with a pair of victories over El Salvador-based FAS. Marco Di Vaio has played in the three victories and managed four goals and an assist.
"It feels good," coach Frank Klopas told the club's official website. "It took us a while to feel like this. There's a lot of games that we could have walked away with points, but you need to move forward."
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