New York Red Bulls striker Bradley Wright-Phillips said that he didn't know the yellow card rules that resulted in his suspension for this Saturday's second leg of the Eastern Conference finals, according to MLSSoccer.com.
Wright-Phillips was booked in the Red Bulls' 2-1 loss to the New England Revolution in the first leg of the conference championship on Sunday for impeding Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttlesworth when he attempted to roll the ball to a teammate.
The yellow card was Wright-Phillips' second of the MLS Cup Playoffs, causing an automatic one-game suspension. He also received a yellow card late in the second half of New York's game against D.C. United in the second leg of the conference semifinals.
Wright-Phillips, other Red Bulls players and head coach Mike Petke all admitted after the game Sunday that they weren't aware of the yellow card rules, according to MLSSoccer.com.
“I didn't know the rules of the yellow card accumulation,” said Wright-Phillips, who scored New York’s goal on Sunday in the first half. “I'm angry, obviously. I'm angry. Stupid yellow card and now I have to pay.”
Wright-Phillips could be replaced atop the team's formation by midfielder Tim Cahill, forward Saer Sene or forward Thierry Henry.
The 29-year-old Englishman won this season's MLS Golden Boot after tying the all-time league record with 27 regular season goals. Chris Wondolowski (2012) and Roy Lassiter (1996) also scored 27 goals. Wright-Phillips has also scored four goals in New York's four playoff games thus far.
The Red Bulls' loss means they have to defeat the Revolution by at least two goals in Saturday's second leg in order to win the series on aggregate. If they win by just one goal, away goals scored will serve as a tiebreaker.
- Ben Estes