MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps

LeToux headed to the Red Bulls in blockbuster

LeTouxRapids (Getty)

With all the talk about who the New York Red Bulls might sign as a third designated player, there had been no talk about what the team might do within MLS to help bolster their squad.

On Friday night we found out the Red Bulls were planning a blockbuster.

The Red Bulls acquired French forward Sebastien LeToux from the Vancouver Whitecaps on Friday night in exchange for Jamaican winger Dane Richards and allocation money.

The shocking trade brings LeToux back to the East Coast, where he starred for the Philadelphia Union for two seasons. After just half a season with the Whitecaps, LeToux became expendable in Vancouver with the emergence of rookie standout Darren Mattocks.

LeToux gives the Red Bulls some sorely-needed depth at striker, which has grown more and more important with Thierry Henry's inability to stay healthy. LeToux is also a player who can play in a 4-3-3 with Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper. He can also play on the wing if needed. 

The trade sends away Richards, New York's longest serving player. The speedy Jamaican should give the Whitecaps some much-needed pace on the flanks, along with giving Mattocks a veteran countryman to mentor him. He became expendable in New York when the emergence of Brandon Barklage at right back allowed the team to move Jan Gunnar Solli into a right wing role. Richards is also in the final year of his MLS deal, and looks like a good bet to test the international market this winter.

For Vancouver, the trade makes it clear that the Whitecaps are going to keep Mattocks in the starting lineup, and having Richards on the team should help take advantage of Mattocks' speed. Richards is also versatile enough to be played as a wide forward in a 4-3-3 or as a traditional right winger.

What do you think of the trade? Like the Red Bulls move, or think Vancouver did well to trade from their surplus at forward?

Share your thoughts below.

DaneRichards (ISIPhotos.com)


  • Rafa Flores

    Nice move Red Bulls! I think Richards’ time was up. I wasn’t impressed with his play of late, but that’s my opinion…


  • JoeW

    It’s easy to under appreciate Richards–he’s always had holes in his game. But he’s also a speed merchant who creates problems for teams.

    I think Le Toux is a fine player and his combination of intelligence and work rate will make him a nice addition. But I’m sure his cap hit is significantly greater than Richards. And a NYRB team that didn’t have much pace to begin with just got slower.


  • lollercakes

    Great pick up but I feel bad forrichards. I wonder how he feels about it.


  • NE Matt

    I’m pretty stunned!

    Ives, maybe this is wishful thinking, but what is Mattocks international status? Any chance he is on the path to US citizenship already? Ever since draft day I’ve been pulling for him and he is just a beast!


  • peaton

    I agree, but I’m not sure NY will win in the long-term unless there was something going on with Richards not being happy. Obviously, Le Toux brings a lot and I thought he was older. But think NY will miss Richards’ pressure and legs.


  • OrionMcphereson

    Yeah, Le Toux’s embarrassingly amazing production to salary ratio was actually one of the hang ups in his little saga with Czar Nowak.

    You RBNY folks ought to be thrilled — Seba is a deadly finisher when well-deployed and has a workrate unlike any I’ve ever seen. As a Union fan, however, this just made my day just that much tougher.

    For a little stability, maybe Seba ought to give Owen Coyle a call and ask for a proper run through.


  • sec128

    I bet they sign Amerikwa now to replace the speed they lost. My guess, no DP until next year.


  • Chum

    I think this means no Luke Rodgers. Le Toux is more versatile and less injury-prone.

    Now NY needs that young playmaker in the middle. They should still be trying to pursue Ireland.


  • Bix

    Le Toux hasn’t lit it up this year, but that was with a poor Whitecap midfield. He will get his chances with NY.


  • Chad

    He has improved his game over the years, but not enough. A change in scenery should help both players/teams.



    What the feck is Vancouver doing? Yes, Mattocks is a nice player but should he get injured, or even cool off for a stretch then suddenly they are with many fewer options and struggling to hang on to the playoffs.


  • Eugene

    It works well for both teams for the reasons you wrote, although the Red Bulls have been telegraphing for weeks that if the Rodgers visa situation didn’t get resolved, they would likely trade for a forward within the league. Given how reluctant teams are to trade intra-conference, it made sense that the player would come from the West and Vancouver was the most likely source, given their forward depth.

    It’s a shame to see Dane go, and he’ll always be a fan favorite, but Le Toux is a quality addition that gives NY an offensive starter, more creativity, better transitions, better connection between the middle and attacking third, and depth due to his versatility. Hard to argue with that.

    I think Le Toux will likely start at attacking mid until a 3rd DP is picked up, with Lindpere on the left and Solli on the right. He can easily move up to help us play 4-4-2 if a striker gets injured. It also likely pushes Cooper to perform better or get benched. This NY team is deep.


  • Brain Guy

    Like the move. Richards has pace but his game did not improve much over the years. Too many unproductive sprints with the ball, not enough useful crosses or goals. LeToux is still a dangerous scorer.


  • Matt Ryan

    This doesn’t make sense. NYRB “only” has Cooper & Henry, so they needed a third good striker, but Vancouver has one hot rookie, so that’s all they need. Wow. Either the Whitecaps are idiots or LeToux is really good at making GM’s want to offload him on the cheap.


  • Luc

    Richards’ pace fits well with the left-footed Robson in the middle. Letting Chumiento go was a smart move. He lacks the physicality for the North American game. They have Mattocks/Hassli/Barbara/Salgado and room for another at Sriker.

    What I don’t understand with Vancouver is how a dangerous player like Camilo doesn’t see the pitch. Maybe he will with Chumiento gone.


  • Fred

    Vancouver must be planning a big move. They were doing so well, don’t see the need to bring in Robson, let go of 2 great players, and possible mess with chemistry.


  • Tim F.

    I’m concerned that the Red Bulls now have insufficient pace and that opponents will now push up with no repercussions. Richards and Rodgers did not allow opponents to do this. I like the optimism of New York fans above and I hope this pans out.

    It is interesting that Dane’s contract is up this year so perhaps this is a good move by the Red Bulls if not too much allocation money was given up.

    Time will tell.


  • ManicMessiah

    I’ll miss Dane Richards, and I have to admit that my gut reaction to this trade was negative. Considering his contract situation, I’m kind of turned around on this deal. The team had one of their best half I’ve seen them play a few weeks ago against DC without Richards. Not that it means he is expendable but it makes me confident they are capable of playing really well without him playing.

    He was very much a hot and cold player with the team, but I’ll remember Richards fondly, and wish him the best in every game except when he plays the Red Bulls.


  • mark

    The whitecaps have Hassli, a solid if at time enigmatic striker, camilo, salgado, and mattocks who are all solid strikers. Richards is one of the few who can play solidly out wide now, along with camilo and salgado. The white caps play a 4-2-3-1 or at times a 4-1-4-1. We don’t play 2 strikers at once, so this is a solid trade


  • felipe

    Dane would pass when he should shoot and shoot when he should pass…aggravating for teammates


  • JoeW

    Yep–you’re right about that–my bad. I, incorrectly, thought that Vancouver upped his salary after his trade from Philly.


  • Joamiq

    Great move by the Red Bulls. Dane Richards would be an excellent player if he could actually play soccer. Unfortunately he’s just a track star. No touch, can’t defend, can’t pass, can’t shoot. So glad he’s off the team.


  • Luis

    Let me repeat NY needs a creative midfielder you are
    going nowhere with the team the way is set up.
    On another note MLS Teams are turning to Metros-Red Bulls players to build their teams as follows:
    Daniel hernandez,Jayson Hernandez,Jeff Parke,Marvell Wynne,Eddie Gaven,Jeremy Hall,MikeMagee,O’Rourke,Juan Agudelo,Hunter Freeman,Tchani,Richards,all of them were Drafted by NY.We also had Rimamdo,Buddle,De Rosario,Juan Pablo Angel,etc,that shows how inept
    the management has been since the begining


  • Rabid RBNY

    Connor Lade has plenty of speed and about as good of a first touch as Richards. Solli has been more productive on the right wing this season.


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