Lloyd Sam

Lloyd Ekow Sam (born 27 September 1984) is a Ghanaian international footballer who plays as a winger for Miami FC in the National Independent Soccer Association. He is comfortable playing on either side of the pitch.[2] Born in England to Ghanaian parents, Sam represented England internationally once at U20 level; however, he represents Ghana at the senior level.

Lloyd Sam
Personal information
Full name Lloyd Ekow Sam
Date of birth (1984-09-27) 27 September 1984
Place of birth Leeds, England
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)[1]
Playing position Winger
Club information
Current team
Miami FC
Number 11
Youth career
Charlton Athletic
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2010 Charlton Athletic 119 (6)
2004Leyton Orient (loan) 10 (0)
2006Sheffield Wednesday (loan) 4 (0)
2007Southend United (loan) 2 (0)
2010–2012 Leeds United 35 (2)
2012Notts County (loan) 10 (5)
2012–2016 New York Red Bulls 106 (20)
2016–2017 D.C. United 43 (5)
2018 AFC Wimbledon 2 (0)
2019– Miami FC 9 (1)
National team
2005 England U20 1 (1)
2015 Ghana 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 3 August 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 01:27, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

Club career

Early career

Sam was born in Leeds, but his family moved to London when he was two months old. Sam began his football career at Charlton Athletic but spent a portion of his childhood living in Senegal where he attended Dakar Academy. In 1998, Sam was asked to attend a trial at Italian side Empoli, with his older brother Andrew. However, neither was successful. When Sam's family returned to London in 1998, he was offered trials at both Wimbledon and Arsenal, but instead re-joined Charlton on Academy terms.

Charlton Athletic

Sam became a professional in 2003, at the age of 18. His first involvement in a Charlton squad came after the Charlton youth team beat Leeds United. His and Osei Sankofa's impressive form for the youth side resulted in a call up to the first team squad against Arsenal, but it was two years before he made his debut for Charlton against Crystal Palace on the final day of the 2004–05 season. Before this, he spent time on loan with Leyton Orient in the Third Division. He later had loan spells with Sheffield Wednesday and Southend United in the Championship.

After Charlton were relegated from the Premier League following the 2007–08 season, Sam received an opportunity to break into Charlton's first team. He was assigned the number 18 shirt. He started the season well, scoring his first ever goals against Stockport County in the League cup and Coventry City but was sent off in October 2007 following a clash with Ian Ashbee of Hull City. Sam and Charlton narrowly missed out on promotion back to the Premier League, after poor end of season form saw them drop out of the play-off positions to 11th place.

Sam suffered relegation with Charlton from The Championship to League One during the 2008–09 season. This was his second relegation with Charlton, having played a minor part in the squad that was relegated from the Premier League in 2006–07.

He narrowly missed out on promotion the following season, when Charlton reached the League One playoff semi-finals, but ended up losing against Swindon Town.

Sam was not offered a new contract by Charlton after they failed to gain an immediate return to the Championship, as they could not afford his wages, which had been set during their final Premier League season in 2006–07 under Iain Dowie.

Leeds United

Sam signed a two-year deal with his hometown club Leeds United on 9 July 2010 on a free transfer from Charlton Athletic. Leeds had finished the 2009–10 season two points ahead of Charlton, and had gained automatic promotion from League One, as runners up. The contract came with an option to extend it further than the initial two years. He made his Leeds debut in the first game of the season against Derby County on 7 August 2010 which ended in a 2–1 defeat, with Sam conceding a penalty on his debut after fouling Tomasz Cywka.

Sam scored his first goal for Leeds in his second appearance, the goal came in the League Cup against Lincoln City. He scored his first league goal in the following match against Nottingham Forest, he also received the man of the match award for his performance. On 21 August 2010 he struck his second league goal and his third goal in all competitions for his new club against Millwall, cancelling out Richard Naylor's early own goal.[3]

After being an ever-present for Leeds, Sam sustained a minor foot injury, was dropped for the game against Swansea City on 11 September and replaced in the starting lineup by Max Gradel. Sam came on in the same game as a second-half substitute for Sanchez Watt.[4] Sam came back into the starting lineup for the following game against Barnsley.[5] After being an unused substitute vs Doncaster, Sam returned to the starting lineup against Sheffield United.[6] However, Sam suffered an ankle injury and was ruled out of a few games for Leeds.[7] Sam returned to a Leeds squad when he was named on the bench against Coventry City.[8] Sam made his playing return as a second-half substitute against Hull City.[9] Sam came on as a second-half substitute against Bristol City, had an impressive impact and helped assist one of Luciano Becchio's goals after David James parried Sam's shot.[10] Sam again made an impressive impact as a substitute against Crystal Palace helping Leeds earn a 2–1 win.[11] Sam came on as a substitute against Cardiff City, but picked up a thigh injury 6 minutes after coming on and had to be substituted himself.[12] Sam was involved in some controversy against Hull City, when he accidentally collided with Liam Rosenior who suffered a neck injury. Hull manager Nigel Pearson called Sam a coward, but Sam claimed the incident was accidental. Rosenior also accepted Sam's apology.[13][14] After a positive start for Leeds, Sam's season was disrupted after picking up various injuries during the course of the season, which ruled him out for large periods.[15]

After an injury hit 2010–11 season, Sam revealed he had been doing extra work in the gym over the summer period to help strengthen his leg.[16] After providing several assists in the pre season matches, Sam topped off a fine pre-season with a goal against Newcastle United.[17] Sam came on as a substitute for Leeds the opening day of the season as they suffered a 3–1 defeat against Southampton.[18] He made his first start of the season in Leeds' 3–2 win over rivals Bradford City in the League Cup.[19] Sam made his first appearance in over a month after coming on a substitute against Peterborough United on 22 October.[20]

On 14 March 2012, Sam went to Notts County on loan until the end of the season.[21] On 9 April he scored a hat-trick as Notts County beat Yeovil Town, 3–1.[22] After his two-year deal came to an end, Sam was told by Neil Warnock his contract wouldn't be renewed at the end of the 2011–12 season and that he would be released from the club at the expiry of his contract.[23] After leaving Leeds, Sam had trials with Portsmouth and New York Red Bulls.[24]

New York Red Bulls

On 16 August 2012 Sam officially joined the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer.[25] Sam appeared in five league matches for the club showing impressive form before being sidelined for the rest of the season with a knee injury. Sam was named MLS Player of the Week for his performance on 3 August 2013. During the match Sam had an assist and the game-winning goal in a 3–2 victory over Sporting Kansas City. [26] On the final day of the season Sam scored New York's third goal in a 5–2 victory over Chicago Fire which gave the club its first title the 2013 Supporters' Shield.[27] During the 2014 season Sam cemented his starting position for New York as he started 32 league matches for the club scoring 4 goals and assisting on 9 others.

Sam started the 2015 season in fine form on 8 March 2015 scoring in 1–1 draw at Sporting Kansas City, a goal that earned him goal of the week nomination.[28] On 22 March 2015 Sam scored his second goal of the season in a 2–0 victory over rival D.C. United at Red Bull Arena.[29] On 11 April 2015 Sam scored his third goal of the season for New York, a last minute equalizer in a 2–2 draw against D.C. United, a match in which the team was trailing by two goals.[30] On 11 July 2015 Sam helped New York to a 4–1 victory over New England Revolution scoring one goal and assisting on another.[31] On 30 August, Sam scored the opening goal of the match for New York in a 3–0 victory over rivals D.C. United.[32] On 7 October, Sam scored his tenth league goal of the season for New York to help the Red Bulls to a 2–1 victory over Montreal Impact.[33]

On 29 April 2016, Sam scored his first goal of the season for New York in a 4–0 victory against FC Dallas.[34]

D.C. United

Sam was traded to rival club D.C. United in exchange for allocation money on 7 July 2016.[35] Despite leading the team in key passes and assists,[36] United declined Sam's contract option at the end of the 2017 season.[37] He played 43 games, scored 5 goals, and assisted 12 goals for D.C. United.[38]

AFC Wimbledon

On 22 March 2018, Sam joined AFC Wimbledon until the end of the season.[39] He was released by AFC Wimbledon at the end of the 2017–18 season.[40]

Miami FC

In January 2019, Sam signed with Miami FC of the National Premier Soccer League.[41]


Sam has also played for the England U20 team alongside former Leeds teammate Neil Kilkenny. He scored once for the team, against Russia in a match at his then home stadium, The Valley, in 2005.

Despite previously representing England at youth levels. In July 2010 Sam's agent claimed after the 2010 World Cup that Sam was looking to break into the Ghana national team, the country of his parents' birth.[42]

On 28 August 2010, Sam told The Sun newspaper that he was still hoping to earn a cap for the Ghana national team, after receiving a call up for Ghana during the 2009–10 season, but Sam had to pull out of the squad through injury.[43]

In October 2010, Ghana officials asked the English FA to get written confirmation that Sam would be eligible to play for the Ghana national team and also get official confirmation from FIFA so that Sam's switch to Ghana could be fully confirmed.[44] On 28 January 2011, Ghana officials revealed they were close to securing Sam's international status for Ghana.[45][46] He was called up by Ghana on 10 October 2015 to play a 13 October friendly against Canada[47] in which he was a substitute in the 53rd minute.[48]


  1. "Lloyd Sam". MLS. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  2. "Getting to know New York Red Bulls". Chelsea F.C. 21 July 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  3. "News | Somma Strikes Twice To Sink Millwall". Leeds United F.C. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  4. "News | United March To Swansea Victory". Leeds United F.C. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  5. "News | United Crash To Defeat At Oakwell". Leeds United F.C. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  6. "News | Johnson Seals United Win". Leeds United F.C. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  7. Coventry City v Leeds United: Latest Whites team new, November 2010, Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved August 2011
  8. "News | United Victorious At Coventry". Leeds United F.C. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  9. "News | Leveller Denies United Deserved Win". Leeds United F.C. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  10. "News | Becchio Hat-Trick Sinks Bristol City". Leeds United F.C. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  11. "Leeds 2–1 Crystal Palace". BBC News. 4 December 2010.
  12. "News | Unbeaten Run Ends At Cardiff". Leeds United F.C. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  13. "Sam claims Rosenior 'accident'". Sky Sports.
  14. Archived 5 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  15. Football (24 March 2011). "Lloyd Sam Set To Make Injury Return For Leeds". Ghanamma.com. Archived from the original on 6 October 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  16. "News | Grafter Lloyd Hoping To Reap Benefit". Leeds United F.C. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  17. "News | Paynter Goal Secures Victory". Leeds United F.C. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  18. "News | United Crash At Southampton". Leeds United F.C. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  19. "News". Leeds United F.C. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  20. "Peterborough United Vs Leeds". Leeds United F.C. 22 October 2011. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  21. "News | Sam joins Notts on loan". Leeds United F.C. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  22. "Notts County 3–1 Yeovil" BBC Sport. 9 April 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  23. "Eleven Told They Can Go". Leeds United F.C. 2 May 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  24. "Sam on trial with New York". MLS. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  25. "New York Signs Midfielder Lloyd Sam". New York Red Bulls. Major League Soccer. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  26. "New York Midfielder Lloyd Sam named Player of the Week". New York Red Bulls. Major League Soccer. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  27. "With iconic goal, Lloyd Sam turns a corner". MLS Soccer. Major League Soccer. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
  28. "RBNY earn hard-fought point on the road vs. Sporting Kansas City". newyorkredbulls.com. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  29. "RBNY blank conference rivals in home opener". newyorkredbulls.com. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  30. "RBNY erase two goal deficit, earn hard-fought draw vs. rivals". newyorkredbulls.com. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  31. "New York Red Bulls 4, New England Revolution 1". mlssoccer.com. Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  32. "With dismantling of DC United, New York Red Bulls prove they're at their best when lights are brightest". mlssoccer.com. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  33. "Red Bulls beat Montreal Impact to close on MLS East title". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  34. "New York Red Bulls 4, FC Dallas 0: 2016 MLS Match Recap". MLSSoccer.com. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  35. "New York Red Bulls Trade Lloyd Sam to D.C. United". NewYorkRedBulls.com. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  36. https://www.dcunited.com/stats?year=2017&form_build_id=form-2i8tGsahr1UV2JfEEKwNM98DcjdPNUQ5aR46_Zk1afk&form_id=mp7_stats_hub_build_filter_form
  37. "D.C. United exercise contract options on six players". DCUnited.com. 28 November 2017. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  38. "Lloyd Sam". Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  39. "Lloyd Sam: AFC Wimbledon sign ex-Charlton winger on short-term contract". BBC Sport. 22 March 2018. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  40. "AFC Wimbledon release nine players including captain Barry Fuller". BBC Sport. 8 May 2018. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  41. "The Miami FC Signs Three New Players to 2019 Roster". Miami FC. 19 January 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  42. "SOUTH LONDON PRESS TODAY | Soccer manager sought". Southlondonpress.co.uk. 4 July 2011. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  43. McGrath, Mike (28 August 2010). "Im Ghana get you a callup". The Sun. London.
  44. "Ghana kick-start Lloyd Sam switch | News – KickOff Magazine". Kickoff.com. 18 October 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  45. "Leeds United: Sam's Ghanian international dream inches closer – Sport". Yorkshire Evening Post. 26 January 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  46. "Sam's Dream Ghana Happen – Leeds United FC – LeedsUtdMAD". Leedsunited-mad.co.uk. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  47. "New York-based MLSers Kwadwo Poku, Lloyd Sam called up by Ghana for Canada friendly". MLSsoccer.com. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  48. "Canada Soccer". canadasoccer.com. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
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