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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Lloyd Sam’s late regulation winner gives Red Bulls three points

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This is the oldest rivalry in Major League Soccer since the league was founded in 1996. These two sides have been going after each other tooth and nail with great victories and hard defeats, no matter who has worn the shirt of those respective sides. But this was the big one in 2014 that the Red Bulls needed to climb back up in the Eastern Conference standings to get a playoff position.

The match winner was within the final 11 seconds of regulation before the added time clock began to tick as Lloyd Sam converted his shot past Bill Hamid who had a hell of a game for DC United. The ball was inside the DC area as Jamison Olave held off a defender and played the ball to the near side of the field, might have ticked off the leg of Thierry Henry but Sam was able to slide towards the ball and took a swing with his right leg to convert the only goal of the game.

Sam was strong tonight bringing up the ball and solid on his crosses, but when it came down to needing him to convert his chance at the death, Lloyd Sam was the one to do and doing his Bradley Wright-Phillips dance to celebrate in style. “He’s been one of our most steady performers all year.” Said head Coach Mike Petke, “Over the last month or so, we’ve asked him to do things a bit differently here and there, tuck in a little bit more, but at the end of the day he always has free reign to go wide because that’s his strongest position.”

The Red Bulls were up a man from the 32nd minute till the end of the game as Fabian Espindola was sent off for a high boot that hit Dax McCarty in the chest and knocked him down. It was a fair challenge that went wrong as Espindola didn’t get McCarty with the cleats, but the outside of the boot that knocked him down. But when you go up a man after the first half hour of the game, then the mentality can get a bit whacky when you know your side is up a man.

While some of the chances weren’t there due to some sloppy play, those that were was stopped by DC United goal keeper Bill Hamid as had made several strong saves to prevent NY to take a lead early in the game. Hamid who has matured this season, looked solid and calm in his net and made a terrific save on Thierry Henry late in the second half.
But for the Red Bulls it’s their first back to back wins since April when they defeated Philadelphia & Houston in back to back home games. Six points for the home side and now a road trip back down to PPL Park to face the Philadelphia Union before a trip back to Montreal in CONCACAF Champions League play.

Author: Daniel Feuerstein
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