Red Bulls trade Lloyd Sam to D.C. United

The winger has been sent to the Red Bulls' rival with allocation money heading the other way.

The New York Red Bulls and D.C. United pulled off a trade Thursday, with Lloyd Sam heading to the nation's capital in exchange for general allocation money. 

Sources tell Goal USA that New York will receive $150,000 in general allocation money in the deal.

Sam, 31, spent five seasons with the Red Bulls, playing a major part in New York's run to the Supporters' Shield in 2015, racking up 10 goals and seven assists. His form in 2016 has been inconsistent though. He managed a goal and four assists through 16 matches this season, delivering no goals and a single assist in the team's past nine matches.

Sam's departure should help create salary cap space for the Red Bulls to bolster their roster. With his base salary ($230,000 in 2016) coming off the Red Bulls' books, combined with the allocation money, the Red Bulls now have more salary cap flexibility to add another attacking player, and potentially a third designated player.

In the meantime, the Red Bulls have several options to fill the right wing role, including Argentinian winger and designated player Gonzalo Veron, rookie Alex Muyl and veteran English winger Shaun Wright-Phillips.

United will be hoping Sam can recapture the form that helped hime shine for the Red Bulls last season, while also helping fill the void left by the absence of Patrick Nyarko and Chris Rolfe, who have both been sidelined by concussions.

“Lloyd is a dangerous winger and has challenged us for years with the Red Bulls,” United general manager Dave Kasper said in a news release. “He is a creative player who not only generates many chances from wide areas with quality service but he is also a proven goal scorer.”

United knows all too well what Sam can do. Four of the 20 goals he scored for the Red Bulls came against D.C.

Sam is expected to be available for selection Saturday, when United takes on the Philadelphia Union.