MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps

Union acquire allocation money from Whitecaps for Le Toux

Photo by Tony Quinn/ISIphotos.com

If Sebastien Le Toux makes an appearance at PPL Park this summer for his second MLS All-Star Game, he won't be representing the home team. He'll be doing it as a member of the Vancouver Whitecaps.

The Philadelphia Union officially announced that they have dealt Le Toux to the Whitecaps, acquiring an undisclosed sum of allocation money in exchange for its leading scorer and 2010 MLS All-Star.

"While this decision wasn't easy, we are confident that the allocation money we receive will provide the flexibility for us to compile the best possible roster for 2012 and beyond," Union manager Peter Nowak said in a team statement.

Le Toux is entering the final year of his contract, and instead of losing him for nothing at the end of the season, the Union elected to cash in their chips with a calculated risk. With Le Toux out of the picture, the club will be relying on the likes of new signing Josue Martinez, Freddy Adu, Danny Mwanga, U.S. youth international Jack McInerney and rookie Chandler Hoffman to guide the club's attack. The rumored signing of Colombian forward Lionard Pajoy would also ease the loss of Le Toux, while the club eyes the present and future with the money received in the trade.

Earlier on Tuesday, Le Toux had confirmed via his personal Twitter account what previous reports had stipulated, tweeting, "Just got traded to Vancouver ! Saddest day for me in my Philadelphia Union story…. Still can't believe it."

His arrival in Vancouver will add more spice to the Cascadia Cup rivalry, as he'll take on the Seattle Sounders, his former club, three times this season. He also adds another piece of firepower to the club's crowded arsenal of attacking players. In addition to Le Toux, the club currently employs Designated Player Eric Hassli, 12-goal scorer Camilo, reigning NASL Golden Boot winner Etienne Barbara, first-round SuperDraft pick Darren Mattocks and last year's first overall SuperDraft pick Omar Salgado in addition to Atiba Harris and Long Tan.

There would seem to be future transactions coming down the road for Vancouver, considering the team's logjam in the attack. Le Toux can fit in either up top or out on the wing, both of which were roles that he played with the Union.

"(Le Toux) is a durable, fit, and speedy attacker, who is capable of playing either up front or wide in midfield," Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie said in a team release. We're delighted to bring Sebastien back to the Pacific Northwest and add another quality player to our squad."

Le Toux scored 25 goals and assisted on 20 others over the last two seasons after being selected in the 2009 expansion draft from the Sounders. He was the last member of that expansion draft class to linger on the Union's roster. Oddly enough, three players from that draft — Le Toux, Jordan Harvey and Brad Knighton — are now with Vancouver.

Le Toux's first match against the Union comes on March 31, when the Whitecaps visit PPL Park.


What do you make of the deal, now that it is official? What do you expect the Whitecaps to do with all of those forwards? Whom do you think they should deal? Do you think Philadelphia's gamble will pay off?

Share your thoughts below.

  • J.M.

    Good Lord what are we going to do with all those strikers? Play a 4-4-2? I understand the idea of picking up the best available talent and all…but seriously. I know the injury and form troubles last year point towards acquiring depth, but this is the MLS, not Europe. How are we supposed to have enough money to pay for defenders, where the team struggled the most last year?


  • Charles

    I know HATE, yes HATE the Union.

    I can’t root against LeToux and there is no way I can anthing but root against a Whitecap.

    Kill Tino Lettieri’s parrot, GO SOUNDERS !


  • Zac

    Yeah, all those attacking weapons will be scary if Vancouver can ever get the ball into their attacking third. What are these guys doing?!!

    At least their fans will be guaranteed to see LOTS of high-scoring games this year….


  • CoachSean

    Words cannot describe my emotions right now. This may go down as one of the dumbest trades in Philadelphia sports history. Our motto may be ‘Ad Finem Fidelis’ but this is testing that faith.


  • Münster

    At least my tickets for the Vancouver game on the 31st of March aren’t that effected.


  • jake

    It sounds like it probably is a bad idea, but shouldn’t you wait to see what you get in return?


  • BFT


    Only in MLS would a team that is arguably on the up-and-up trade away their best player, face of the franchise and all-time leading scorer to another team in their league for some financial flexibility.

    Absolutely gutted. At least with the Bolton move it could be sold to the fans as a great opportunity for a player we love and respect…how the hell are they gonna sell this one?


  • RLW2020

    welcome to MLS Philly.. this kind of backwards stuff happens all the time…

    this is how it goes with a single-entity salary capping closed book operation.


  • facepalm

    This is the sort of thing that reminds everyone that MLS is a weird, hybridized, American soccer league.

    I’m so glad this trade appeals to the workaday American sports fan who is surely paying close attention… riiight.


  • The Imperative Voice

    Maybe? I know the reflex answer some will give is no, George John could play in England but suit up for the USA if he still wanted, but if LeToux is a permanent resident/green card or on a work visa, having your job in Canada might in fact complicate immigration status. Can you be a US permanent resident if you move to Canada and have a job there? We certainly won’t be giving a work visa to work in Canada, that’s for Canadian immigration. Potentially interesting complication for “tweeners” who don’t quite have citizenship but might want to get it.


  • pd

    It way be moot…. my understanding has always been that by the time Seba would be eligible for a NATS callup he’d be like 31 or 32.

    My greatest hpe fr him was that Bolton would come through and he’d shine bright enough for Les Bleus to give him a look. That would have been the ultimate Cinderella story, but it seems like that is not in the cards right now. A real shame. As for him going to Vancouver, I wish he had gone to New England instead. He and Benny could have done some good work together.


  • fischy

    Seriously — the guy has been withe team for decades. How could they trade him away?

    Wait. He’s only been there two years? The “face of the franchise?” The team’s “all-time leading scorer?”


  • The Imperative Voice

    Triage? Vancouver scored the fewest goals in the league in 2012, 35. As bad as 55 GA sounds, it’s not as abysmal. I think you can pick which you want to work on first. And it’s worth considering that an excess of decent talent at F might attract trade offers which could then be used to work on D. Not necessarily mutually exclusive. Kind of a nice guy’s version of Montreal drafting Ching and grabbing Barbara’s rights. I stockpile people, see who I like, trade or release the rest.

    Now the downside would be if you actually emerge from camp for the season with a roster imbalance, just like if Montreal is stuck with Ching.

    FWIW, the old Crew frontline of McBride and Cunningham used to have some wild, 6-4 type games, if you have enough attacking talent maybe your shtick is to try fast break soccer. You won’t win the title but it would be fun to watch, and when people are critical of teams like TFC trying a 433 or something different, it’s like, should they just play a rote 442 and get their heads kicked in on talent? Try for a competitive advantage….one of the things that bugged me about the 2010 Dynamo was they wouldn’t mess with formation and personnel even when that ship was sinking. Someone has a “442 til they die” tattoo, I guess.


  • The Imperative Voice

    NE is starting to accumulate M talent, Benny, Joseph, Rowe, Simms, Nyassi. Question remains who will knock it in, and along those lines I think you’re right.

    But, heck, the Dynamo could have used him, too. Beyond Davis and maybe Camargo we don’t have that much M talent, and it’s sparse at F without Ching or Costly, who themselves underwhelmed in 2011.

    Personally I think Philly was dumb. LeToux is no McBride or Dempsey but most teams would be lucky to have a Findley, Bunbury, or Wondo, much less LeToux or an international quality F. I mean you look at LA and with Landon, Keane, Magee, and Barrett, they could outclass many teams on that end alone, much less with their strong D.


  • USCasual

    This has typical Nik Sack hands all over it.. I suspect Philly has somethign up their sleeve or they are simply going to roll the dice with the young talent??? I don’t see it, but you have some nice young pieces in place.. I still think your 2 years away with most of em, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Union don’t make some swoop in for a big name DP.. who I have no idea, and you only a few hours left to orchestrate the deal, but stranger things have happened.. If your going youth this year i have a feeling its going to be a long year..


  • Hood Rich

    Don’t forget Lee Nguyen. Whitecaps are packed with attacking power. I doubt Salgado will stay.


  • Mike

    so we signed roger torres permanently now. so yea gotta let everything play out but 25 goals and 20 assists speak for themselves. I’m pisssseeedddd.


  • DCLee

    These kind of crazy moves happen all the time with Free Agency in every other professional sports league too except for the rare super clubs such as the Lakers, Yankees, Cowboys, ManU, etc… So you can blame the single entity all you want but it was a small reason why.


  • Pappajohn

    Stupid! I have always had respect for Peter Nowak’s decisions. I hope he is about to sign Messi, otherwise this is a pretty dumb move.


  • Mick

    Wow, Nowak must have really been upset that he left for England. Le Toux and Mondragon were the backbone of the franchise. They must be making room for a big-name player…Ballack, perhaps???


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