As a young winger at Charlton Athletic when they were still in the Premier League, Lloyd Sam struggled to make an impact. But on Wednesday the Montreal Impact struggled to stop Lloyd Sam.
Despite leading 1-0 thanks to a penalty score from Sacha Kljestan, the New York Red Bulls were struggling to put the 10-man Canadian outfit away.
With time ticking away in the first half though, Lloyd Sam – who has been having a breakout season at 31 years young – finally gave the MLS Eastern Conference leaders the big break they were looking for:
With that score the Red Bulls found themselves up 2-0 going into the half.
The goal was significant for Sam because it marked the 10th goal of his 2015 season – the first time in his 13-year professional career that he recorded double-digit goals. The mark also equaled the combined goal total of his second and third best scoring seasons.
Some players are late bloomers and some just need a change of scenery. Whatever the case may be, the Red Bulls have been the biggest beneficiaries of Sam’s breakout year.
With a win over Montreal would need just two points in their final three matches to clinch the MLS Eastern Conference title and a spot in the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League.