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The evolution of a Le Toux trade

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Update: Sebastien Le Toux confirmed he has been traded to Vancouver via Twitter: “Just got traded to Vancouver ! Saddest day for me in my Philadelphia Union story…. Still can’t believe it”

It has been a busy and confusing few days for Union fans. Kerith Gabriel has an updated story on Faryd Mondragon, Seba Le Toux and Roger Torres. Bruce Constantineau of the Vancouver Sun wrote that “sources close to the Caps” said Le Toux will be in Vancouver soon. So with the latest information, here is a quick rundown of what’s going on:

Sebastien Le Toux rumors (Rumors = no confirmed sources)

  • The Union’s all-time leader in goals, assists, minutes played, and hilarious goal dances will not be moving to England’s Bolton Wanderers.
  • In the same tweet that doomed Bolton to relegation, Daily Mirror Gossip Guy Alan Nixon announced that Le Toux was on his way to the Vancouver Whitecaps, which made everyone  on this side of the Atlantic go: “Wha?”
  • Gabriel writes that Seba rolled out of his Bolton trial early and didn’t give the English club a longer chance to check him out.
  • When asked about Le Toux being on the move, MLS Armchair Analyst Matthew Doyle wrote, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”
  • “Sports reporter, writer and fan” Irfaan Gaffar, who apparently works on Whitecaps home game broadcasts for Sportsnet, threw wind into the Le Toux transfer saga’s sails on Monday evening when he began tweeting that he had spoken to a Vancouver official who said Le Toux could join the club as early as Tuesday. Gaffar added that the deal was “pretty much confirmed.”

Of course, the question on everybody’s mind is: Why? Sebastien Le Toux is/has been/will be the Union’s best player for the foreseeable future and he has become the face of the franchise both on and off the field. The Union are a hard working, never-say-die team, right? Who embodies that ethos better than Seba? The club is intimately connected with the fans who worked so hard to bring a franchise to the city, right? Whose smiling mug pops up at every community event?

On MLS ExtraTime Radio Monday Peter Nowak said, “Players are contracts are up, players contracts are expired, with the new CBA right now it’s, we gotta make sure we’re not gonna be with zero money on the side and have 14-15 guys who can contribute. We gotta be smart with the decisions and keep the club intact and when the necessary changes need to be made, we gotta make it just to make sure we’re gonna progress as a group and that’s the most important thing of any thing is to grow as a club, as a franchise and give the youngsters an opportunity to grow.”

The comment certainly smacks of foreshadowing right now; Le Toux is entering the final year of his four year deal. With the speed that this story is moving, we will probably have answers before Tuesday is out. Until then, will Union fans have to wonder whether their club would really be willing to sell the best player in Union history and, if so, what can they expect in return?


  1. Well, it’s certainly been an interesting off season! I look forward to the following days and I can’t wait to have some confirmed news to discuss.
    I may be the ONLY Union fan who would be ok with this move. Though, I did NOT know he was in the final year of his contract either.

  2. I kinda thinking they overspent and were hoping Adu was going to Europe.and now they are screwed.

    Mind you this speculation came directly from my ass.

  3. MikeRSoccer says:

    His tone seems to suggest the Union are tight on money. With the second largest sponsorship deal in mls, no DPs so no extra contract fees, a nearly always sold out stadium and new big time investors/part owners (who cited fiscal stability and growth as a main reason for their investment) the question I have is how? We sold Harvey, we sold Ruiz, we just knocked 400$ off of our salary cap and the only players we brought in were Martinez (500k), Gomez (?) and Lopez (?). I’m not kidding, if the Union are seriously low on cash then something is very wrong.

  4. The Phrugal Philadelphia Union! Doop! Playoffs!!!

  5. C’mon people, isn’t it clear?!?! We’re clearing space for Tevez or Pato!!

  6. News Flash….The Union ARE and HAVE BEEN in financial trouble since day 1. While the Bimbo deal has helped them, they overspent on the stadium, payroll, and other expenses and aren’t getting the other events at the stadium as planned.

    Think getting the All Star game is a coincidence? NOPE!

    The FO has been blindsided by Seba not being sold to Bolton (they figured net close to a million in transfer fees), acquired replacements for him, and well now he’s apparently not going to EPL.

    Now they are shopping him for high value in return.

    Mismanagement from the FO is all I have to say. Don’t count your chickens before the eggs hatch.

    • I was always under the impression that the U were broke…why else would they have sold Harvey last year, thats the deal the really brought thier financial problems to light for me. I was told in pregame lot last year that it will take at least a decade for them to become profitable…if not longer.

  7. MikeRSoccer says:

    The Union did not pay for the stadium, they do not have a “pay roll” because MLS pays the salaries of every player on the team and their new investors, who own the red bulls and galaxy, cited the stability and market growth as reason for their investment. Where is the financial trouble your talking about?

    • depends… how much do they pay the MLS,How much do they pay the staff? The upkeep of the stadium? the equipment? Vendors? How much money do these mysterious investors want in profit out of the Union in return for their investment?

      Owners have a tendency to think of their fans as an anonymous sea of ATM machines… and I wouldn’t doubt for a second that if they thought that Union fans would come out despite the product on the field they would cut back on payroll and play a money ball strategy of fielding untested kids who they plan on selling off for profit when they start to mature.

  8. How can Seba be starting the final year of a 4 year contract when the Union is only beginning its 3rd year in existence? I agree that they overpaid an obscene amount for Adu who is not worth a dime, so why not let him go instead? Plus we just lost Mondragon, that has to open up some cash flow, right? All of these rumors are very aggravating. I can’t wait for the season to start, not just for the rumors to stop but because I’m having DOOP withdrawals!!!!

  9. Philadelphia Atoms , team will be gone in five years.
    Seba was the team’s heart, they are hurting for money.
    Sell Adu??? Who wants him besides Nowaky

  10. I’m seeking for a skilled author, long time in this region. Excellent post!

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