Lloyd Sam

Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Tic-tac-toe passing leads Grella, RBNY past Chicago Fire 1-0 (video)

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Midweek MLS didn’t have a lot of goals, but this one was a lot of fun to watch.

In New York Red Bulls’ 1-0 win over Chicago on Wednesday, Bradley Wright-Phillips backheeled for Lloyd Sam, who found a streaking Mike Grella for the finish.

[ MORE: MLS Snapshot — Toronto FC 1-1 NYCFC ]

The 29-year-old picked up his fourth goal of the MLS season, boosting New York to its fourth win of the season. RBNY is now level on points with fifth place DC United and New England.

MLS Snapshot: NY Red Bulls 2-1 Columbus Crew SC

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The game in 100 words (or less): Two weeks in a row Columbus Crew SC have had a chance to go top of the Eastern Conference with a victory, and two weeks in a row Crew SC have failed to take a single point from massively important fixtures. Their latest defeat, a 2-1 humbling at the hands of the East-leading New York Red Bulls, started so well for Gregg Berhalter’s side, but was undone by a pair of costly, comedic defensive errors that allowed Lloyd Sam and Bradley Wright-Phillips (15th of the season) to erase an early deficit (Justin Meram) and win all three points. The result not only keeps the Red Bulls top of the East, but gives them a three- and four-point cushion with three and two games in hand on their nearest competitors., D.C. United and New England Revoltion respectively. For Crew SC, they’re four points back of the Red Bulls in fourth place, one point ahead of fifth-place Toronto FC, who have a game in hand.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

9′ — Meram pokes it past Robles for an early lead — Meram “earned” his goal all the way back in midfield, when the Iraqi international’s mazy run took a routine turnover inside Crew SC’s defensive half and turned it into a dangerous counter-attacking opportunity. Harrison Afful overlapped and provided the cross for Meram to send home.

12′ — Sam capitalizes on multiple mistakes to equalize — Crew SC pass the ball out of the back. They don’t boot it forward to clear. It’s just what they do. Sometimes, that’ll bite you. When your goalkeeper and right back both have blunders clearing the ball 10 seconds apart, you probably deserve to concede an ugly, scrappy goal.

21′ — Wright-Phillips capitalizes on more defensive gaffes — See the above description for Red Bulls goal no. 1.

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Man of the match: Damien Perrinelle

Goalscorers: Meram (9′), Sam (12′), Wright-Phillips (21′)

Gutty 10-man Union continue Open Cup prowess with shootout win over RBNY

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The Philadelphia Union’s quest for its first Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title is two wins away, while New York Red Bulls’ first title is at best a year away after the two sides went to extra time in Tuesday’s quarterfinal at Red Bull Arena.

Philadelphia, last year’s runner-up, looked to have a leg up despite being a man down, as Eric Ayuk scored for the second consecutive round (and gave a heck of an acrobatic celebration) to give the 10-man Union a 1-0 lead.

[ MORE: Previewing the Gold Cup semifinals ]

The Union came within moments of successfully defending the lead and Conor Casey’s red card for cleating the back of RBNY back Connor Lade. But Matt Miazga’s header fell for Lloyd Sam, who swept the ball home for close range for a stoppage time equalizer.

New York, of course, would control play as extra time moved forward, but couldn’t find the winner against Philly’s weary 10 men. Goalkeeper John McCarthy had a lot to do with that, as did Manolo Sanchez’s shot off the left post. When Bradley Wright-Phillips was offside on his 120th minute header, kicks felt inevitable.

BWP’s penalty kick trouble continued, as he blasted the first offering of the shootout off the bar. The next five shots went in, and then McCarthy stopped Sam… barely. He slapped the ball and collected it before it could cross the line.

But Luis Robles stopped Fred on the next shot to keep it 3-2. After Sacha Kljestan netted to make it 3-3, but Fernando Aristeguieta won it with the next opportunity.

MLS Snapshot: New York Red Bulls 4-1 New England Revolution (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): A 12-minute blitzkrieg to begin the game was all the New York Red Bulls needed to brush aside the New England Revolution at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night. Bradley Wright-Phillips and Lloyd Sam provided the game’s first three goals (video below), which put the hosts up 3-0 after 11 and a half minutes. The Revolution, without Jermaine Jones for their seventh straight game, not only looked disorganized defensively, but completely lacked any sort of fighting spirit and will to compete. From the very first whistle, the Revs were second to every 50-50 ball, as well as constantly ball-watching and hoping someone else would step up and make a play defensively. No one did, ever, and they got a result they fully deserved — though 5-1 or 6-1 might have been more fitting.

[ MORE: Previewing the rest of Week 19 ]

Three moments that mattered

4′ — BWP finishes Sam’s cross from point-blank range — Andrew Farrell took Shep Messing’s (commentator) admonishment for his marking of Bradley Wright-Phillips, but how about captain Jose Goncalves letting Lloyd Sam stop, turn and cross from inside the 18-yard-box? That’s the “woeful” bit of Revs defending that sticks out the most to me.

9′ — Sam finishes RBNY’s intricate tiki-taka — Somebody call Barcelona, because some team in Harrison, NJ, is impersonating their quick passing game in tight spaces tonight. This one went Sam -> Sacha Kljestan -> BWP -> Mike Grella -> Sam -> back of the net. Revs on the ropes.

12′ — BWP beats the backline, gets his brace — If the Red Bulls’ second forced the Revs into a standing-eight count, their third, and Wright-Phillips’ second, of the night was the knockout blow. Kljestan plays 30-yard slow-roller through three defenders, Dax McCarty turns into acres of space and plays BWP through, and he finishes like the 2014 version of himself. Nighty night, Revs.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Bradley Wright-Phillips — Two goals in the first 12 minutes, plus an assist on the other, which means last year’s scorer of 27 goals has contributed 14 one way or another this season (eight goals, six assists), his first in New York without Thierry Henry. Turns out BWP isn’t so bad as a playmaker, either.

LINEUPS

New York Red Bulls: Robles, Wallace, Perrinelle, Miazga, Lada, Felipe, McCarty, Grella, Kljestan (Zizzo 80′), Sam (Abang 69′), Wright-Phillips (Davis 84′)

Goals: Wright Phillips (4′, 12′), Sam (9′), Wallace (56′)

New England Revolution: Shuttleworth, Woodberry, Farrell, Goncalves, Tierney, Dorman (Kobayashi 58′), Caldwell, Bunbury (Fagundez 57′), Nguyen, Agudelo (Rowe 67′), Davies

Goals: Dorman (37′)

MLS Snapshot: Seattle Sounders 2-1 New York Red Bulls

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One game in 100 words: Seattle Sounders would’ve like to come out of this one with three points based on their performance up to the 90 minute mark. Nevertheless, one rapid turnaround can change the outlook of the contest in a matter of seconds, and that’s exactly what materialized as the stoppage-time winner handed Seattle three points. Credit to NYRB for laying down sound defense for long stretches, but at CenturyLink Field, you can’t let up in the slightest bit against the Sounders, especially in the final minutes.

 

Goals

Seattle: Marco Pappa 69′, Chad Barrett 90′ +3′

New York: Lloyd Sam 36′

 

Three moments that mattered

36’ — Sam chases for the opener — Forward Bradley Wright-Phillips stood and awaited the free kick chance before blasting his attempt right at Seattle’s wall. Fortunately for NY, Lloyd Sam didn’t give up on the deflected ball, which skyrocketed into the air, and battled through the Sounder’s back line for the scoring header on the doorstep. Defender Brad Evans appealed for an offside call, but the referee was having none of it.

69’ — Pappa strikes to level score — The Red Bulls’ back line was bound to get caught by the Sounders in a tough situation. Obafemi Martins received the ball on the right flank and eased toward the middle of the pitch, where he had Marco Pappa calling for the ball on the left side. The Guatemalan maneuvered around Red Bulls defender Chris Duvall and near the six-yard box, rifled a shot in the upper netting at the opposite post.

90’+3’ — Barrett taps it in — Tyrone Mears collected himself on the right wing and located Clint Dempsey making the far post run. Delivering the cross on target, the USMNT’s accomplished forward sped toward the end line and managed to send the ball horizontally across the goal line with a left-footed touch. The goal was awarded to 89th-minute substitute Chad Barrett, though, appearing to knick the last tap on the shot. Nonetheless, Dempsey and Mears should receive praise for a wonderful combination.

 

Lineups

Seattle: Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins; Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Brad Evans (Zach Scott 75′), Chad Marshall, Dylan Remick; Cristian Roldan (Lamar Neagle 64′), Andy Rose, Osvaldo Alonso, Marco Pappa (Chad Barrett 89′)

NY: Bradley Wright-Phillips; Luis Robles; Chris Duvall, Karl Ouimette, Damien Perrinelle, Kemar Lawrence; Lloyd Sam (Anatole Bertrand Abang 90′ +2′), Sacha Kljestan, Dax McCarty, Felipe, Mike Grella (Dane Richards 76′)