It happened in Seattle: Lloyd Sam tracked a deflected free kick and nodded the ball past the Sounders' Stefan Frei to give the New York Red Bulls a lead they would ultimately relinquish. It was Sam's fourth goal of the MLS season to date - and that's as many as he totaled for the entire 2014 regular season. And it was the fifteenth goal he's scored for RBNY since he joined the club in 2012.
Fifteen goals is not all that impressive, but in the limited history of the Red Bulls it stands out a little more than it might do elsewhere: only 21 players have 15 or more career goals for the club. And when Sam scored his 16th career goal for RBNY - and second in US Open Cup - against Atlanta Silverbacks, he made himself just the 20th player to have scored more than 15 goals for the team formerly known as the MetroStars.
Sam has started 2015 playing as well as we've ever seen him play for RBNY, and he has the goals (five in all competitions so far this season) and assists (three) to prove it. His Red Bulls career assists total is not insignificant either: the two he contributed to the team's 2-1 win over NYCFC on May 10 were his fifteenth and sixteenth for the club. Only 17 players have reached the milestone of 15 career assists for RBNY; Sam is one of 16 to have provided more than 15.
But the real significance of his recent form is the continuing symmetry of his attacking contributions: 16 goals and 16 assists. That sort of balance is quite rare: just 10 players in RBNY history have 15 or more career goals and assists for the club. (From MetroFanatic.com's statistics archive; italics indicate player in current squad.)
|Name||Games Played||Games Started||Minutes||Goals||Assists||Total Goals + Assists|
Recent injury notwithstanding, it is to be hoped Sam has many more good days for the Red Bulls ahead of him. And if his current form persists he may soon become just the fifth player in the club's history to record 20 or more career goals and assists.
Congratulations on a reaching a minor statistical milestone, Lloyd - and we look forward to celebrating your arrival at the next, more significant achievement in what is already a remarkable career for RBNY.