October 25, 2012
'IT'S A BIG LOSS FOR US'
McCarty on Sam's season-ending knee injury
By Michael Lewis
|Dax McCarty on Lloyd Sam (above): "Lloyd, ever since he came to the team . . . brought a different element that we didn't have since we lost Dane Richards."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
He had been with the team since Aug. 16 and played but five games and 164 minutes. But the Red Bulls know that the loss of right midfielder Lloyd Sam to a knee injury will affect the team during the coming Major League Soccer playoffs.
Sam was ruled out for the rest of the season on Tuesday with a PCL injury.
"You can't really find a silver lining in it," Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty said. "It's a big loss for us. No question about it. Lloyd, ever since he came to the team . . . brought a different element that we didn't have since we lost Dane Richards."
The Red Bulls sent the speedy Richards to the Vancouver Whitecaps in July for midfielder-forward Sebastien Le Toux, who has been more on the bench than on the field recently.
Sam brought some much-needed pace to the Red Bulls.
"He's a little bit of a guy who can take people on 1 v 1," McCarty said. "He has the speed and the pace to get in behind defenses and to get crosses off. That's something that we miss without Dane. We're all going to have to pick up the slack. We're going to have to pick up an extra 10-15 percent for Lloyd.
"It's tough. The quality that Lloyd brings, no one else on the team really brings his quality. We're going to have to make up for him. We're going to have to find a way to get through the playoffs without him. But I know the team is more than capable of being able to pull it off.
"I know it was a devastating injury for him. I know he was just starting to get fit and find his stride."
Sam's loss could mean that McCarty will play on the right flank against the Philadelphia Union in the regular-season finale on Saturday and during the playoffs because the Red Bulls can use other players at central midfield.
McCarty plays well on the right wing, but his vision and box-to-box play makes the Red Bulls a better team, particularly defensively, in the middle.
"It doesn't really matter where I play," he said. "I certainly can play out wide. I have no qualms about that. Obviously, I prefer the middle. This a team, and this a is team that is built to make a run at MLS Cup now. So, as long as I'm on the field, supporting and helping the team anyway that I can, I'm going to do that. If that means I'm going to play out wide, that's fine."