Featured / MLS

Le Toux traded to Red Bulls

Former Union striker and all-time leading scorer Sebastien Le Toux was traded Friday to the New York Red Bulls for Dane Richards and allocation money. Both Le Toux and Richards will be available for selection this weekend.

Chances are, you are currently experiencing one of the following reactions:

  • One of the two most beloved players in Union history (oh hay, Danny Califf!) is a Red Bull!? Quick! Siri: How do I make a pitchfork?
  • Poor Seba, getting traded from coast to coast twice in one year!
  • Whatevs, broski. I’ve been saying that guy was overrated since he was underrated. And now that a team near the top of the standings acquired him for an underperforming winger, I’m going to consider this confirmation of my genius. [Retweets all “Frenchie is overrated” tweets. Adds, “Told ya”]
Opinionated response

This deal has nothing to do with the Union beyond stoking an already piping hot rivalry with New York. Until Jack McInerney came in from the cold, few Union supporters would have balked at bringing Sebastien Le Toux back in exchange for a winger and money. He had a hand in a fifth of Vancouver’s goals and contributed to a major turnaround in the team’s fortunes. To secure a long-term future on the west coast, however, Le Toux would have had to be MVP-caliber because the Whitecaps had accumulated more strikers than a 1930s automobile factory.

So to those who think this raises the stakes for the Union-Red Bulls rivalry: Have at it! Nothing could be better for soccer in this city.

To those who feel for a good player and a great guy: You’re right. It sucks to move back and forth twice in seven months. Let’s hope Seba finds another welcoming community soon (probably won’t be Harrison, New York New Jersey).

And finally, to those who think you’ve been vindicated: You haven’t. And I’d love to hear what you said about Dwayne De Rosario when the Red Bulls traded him away. Or about Kyle Beckerman when Colorado traded him away. Or about Julian De Guzman when Toron… no, wait. That guy is seriously overrated.

Standard fare

Le Toux was the Union’s most popular player during his two years in Philadelphia, but he left under a dark cloud after an aborted move to the English Premier League’s Bolton Wanderers fell through. In a candid interview with Chris Vito, Le Toux said then-Union manager Peter Nowak and managing partner Nick Sakiewicz treated him poorly during the contract negotiation process before shipping him off to Vancouver.

The departure of the French striker foreshadowed the Union’s disintegration under Nowak’s leadership. After a 2011 playoff run, Nowak replaced Le Toux with goal-shy Lionard Pajoy, feuded with and then traded captain Danny Califf, froze out and then traded Danny Mwanga, and pretended that Jack McInerney and Amobi Okugo did not exist.

Le Toux started all but one match for the Whitecaps this season, tallying four goals and one assist while playing largely on the wing instead of the center forward position he excelled at with the Union. He never looked very comfortable in coach Martin Rennie’s system, however, and the recent emergence of 2012 number two overall pick Darren Mattocks made the Frenchman surplus to requirements.


  1. Ed Farnsworth says:

    “More strikers than a 1930s automobile factory”- you win. Hilarious.

    • It’s as if your smoking hot ex-girlfriend moved back to town and started dating the guy you always fought with in high school. Or getting kicked in the groin. One of those two.

      • Jeremy Lane says:

        I’ve actually come to terms with him not being on our team anymore, but what kills me is that this may turn into a reason not to like him, and I’d hate for that to happen.

  2. Jeremy L. says:

    You have to be effing kidding me. Not cool. At least in Vancouver we could start to forget him, but just up 95? I love that guy; I don’t want to see him in a RB jersey. I mean, I love Thierry Henry, too, so I guess I’m used to it, but still.

  3. I feel like this hurts just as bad as him getting traded in the first place. Why the Red Bulls, couldn’t it have been anyone else. Not only does he have to play against the U all of the time, but soon I am going to have to dislike him, there is really no way around it. It is a dark day.

    • no u dont.

    • If the Red Sox can give Roger Clemens a standing ovation when he retired (I forget which time) as a Yankee — a move which he sought and favored — I’m pretty sure we can still find it in our hearts to love Seba, even as an Pink Cow. That said, Hans Backe is such a consummate bumbler in MLS that I fully expect he’ll waste Le Toux’s talent on some crackpot formation and he’ll get traded again. Maybe back home?

  4. And here I was hoping that he would end up back in Philly.

  5. I think we’re missing the important fact here that he is now playing on the same team as his American doppelganger, Kenny Cooper.

    • Haha. Maybe this is the Red Bulls’ plan—to confuse opposing defenses. “I thought you were marking him! He’s everywhere!”

  6. AAAWWWGGGGHH!!!! Is my instant reaction. Insult to injury. Now we can’t even cheer for him when he visits….

  7. Who knows though, the way players move around. In less than a year, he could be playing somewhere else in the world.

    • probobly in spain

    • he deserves a stable club situation with not-crazy management. i wish that bolton thing had worked out. they may only be championship, but if Holden gets healthy and Ream (yeah yeah) plays for them like he did last season, they could easily make a playoff drive.

  8. i hope he comes back soon

  9. Andy Muenz says:

    So the Pink Cows now have one of the classiest players in the league to go along with the most classless (aka Marquez). Should make for an interesting dynamic in their locker room.

  10. It’s just economics. Sebastien left Philadelphia in exchange for allocation money. Now he has been moved again, and again the deal includes allocation money. Teams are going to continue to move him around the league until every MLS team has exactly the perfect amount of allocation money. Then and only then will this be the greatest football league on God’s green earth.

  11. JediLos117 says:

    I just died a lil

  12. Did Le Toux ever get the big new contract he wanted (which seems to have been the source of much of his friction with Nowak)? If not, then I have to wonder if that’s one reason the ‘Caps were willing to jettison him so soon. It also means that if he doesn’t reach an agreement with the Red Bulls, then he’ll go through the bizarre re-entry draft process at season’s end.

  13. Kensington Josh says:

    I liked Le Toux- but I thought the long term U was hurt more by losing Mwagic. I really don’t want to see him play against us, and his work to make runs, and Henry’s cleverness could be a dangerous combo.

  14. I think LeToux will be a free agent this year. He’s likely only a Red Bull rental, if that’s any consolation. He might be completely free at season’s end.

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