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Red Bulls lose Sam for the season



Just when things were beginning to look up for the New York Red Bulls, injuries have once again struck at the least opportune time.

Reports out of Red Bulls camp have Hans Backe revealing dynamic newcomer Lloyd Sam will miss the rest of the the season after diagnostics confirmed a PCL strain of his right knee. Sam joins fullbacks Brandon Barklage and Wilman Conde on what is quickly becoming a growing list of missing players just shy of the playoffs.

Of the three, Conde’s absence is the only one that is not health related as he has taken a reported personal leave from the side.  Meanwhile, Tim Cahill, who was clutching his heavily iced right arm after the match, is said to be in good health and should be available for the remaining matches.

New York was forced to stretch their personnel against Sporting KC this past weekend thanks to their roster woes.  Dax McCarty featured on the left midfield side for the first time all season while Heath Pearce returned to his natural left back position and Rafa Marquez was pushed back to the centerback slot.  The absence of Sam will put the Red Bulls back in a similar quandary.

Keep in mind – mere weeks ago, New York desperately sought an explosive wing presence to add width to their attack.  With Sam gone, there are few players with his speed and skill set which can fill the role.  Backe favorite Jan Gunnar Solli will likely get the nod on the right.  An under-performing Sebastian Le Toux failed to stake claim to the spot in his opportunities but could be looked at to fill the role while the versatile Connor Lade is also an option.

What do you make of this development? See the Red Bulls shaking it off and making a run at MLS Cup, or think they struggle offensively without Sam?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Solli should prove a competent option at his natural RM position. He was pushed to the bench for some porous moments at outside back, but he always forced the issue moving up on the wing when Backe employed a faux 3-5-2. Solli is big, strong, and plays an accurate ball… much like Lindpere, who can go 70 or 20 at the position without garnering complaints.

    Unlike the fanboys who pine for “speed”, I never considered Sam to be much of a revelation. Certainly not a poor player, but despite taking defenders on aggressively, he never enjoyed much success actually getting past them. I’d move Lade up over Sam if Barklage was healthy.

    “Fast like Dane Richards, only much better!” LOL

  2. Good or bad I’ve been a red bulls dance since day one. And even though this year they have spent the most or second most in league history on a team, I just don’t see them winning the cup. Questionable if they even get past the first round. Backe doesn’t know how to use the talent he has. And for the money they just aren’t that talented of a team. Simple as that. ts

  3. What a terrible loss. Looking at the glass as half-full, though, plugging Solli in at RM (NOT switching McCarty to the right and putting Lindpere on the left) might be OK. The biggest upside of the past two weeks, though, is finally, maybe, settling on a cohesive back line (Pearce, Marquez, Holgersson, Lade).

  4. From what I understand, Sam has been injury prone throughout his career. It may have been a risk signing him. Saying that, he clearly provided a spark on the wing for us which really helped spread the defense. Oh well, at this point I am numb. Have we set the MLS record for most line up variations in one season?

  5. Conde out for “Personal reasons” as a Fire fan this is a familiar story.
    Who woulda guessed he’d be a malcontent after being a malcontent with the Fire then Atlas?
    Ummm everyone!!!!

    Thanks for the free allocation money NY!!! 🙂

  6. Sam, things happen. Conde, Marquez, that’s self-inflicted. Didn’t have to sign Conde and Marquez would probably have happily accepted a “loan” back to Mexico for the balance of his NY deal.

  7. I miss Luke Rodgers. Oh yeah, Lloyd going down will be a big issue for NYRB. Why does rooting for NYRB feel like being a Mets or Knicks fan?! When are we gonna win it all?

  8. yeah, this certainly won’t make it any easier this year. On the plus side, it looks as though Backe gave RBNY a nice parting gift in Lloyd Sam for 2013 and beyond

  9. Terrible. Absolutely terrible. In the two and a half matches I’ve seen of Lloyd Sam, I’ve become a big fan. I felt like he was our answer to the speed we lost when we traded Dane Richards away but with a lot more of a soccer IQ and a more expansive skill set. Very unfortunate.


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