Report: LeToux heading to Vancouver

Sebastian LeToux (Getty)

Philadelphia Union fans have endured a roller coaster off-season, first with Sebastien LeToux's trial at Bolton, then Monday's sudden departure of goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon. Now it appears that after initially thinking LeToux would wind up staying with the Union, the French striker looks set to depart.

According to Sportsnet reporter Irfaan Gaffar, the Vancouver Whitecaps have acquired LeToux from the Union in a trade that could be announced as early as Tuesday. Gaffar, who works closely with the Whitecaps home TV broadcasts, tweeted about the impending trade on late Monday evening, but offered no definitive details, suggesting that LeToux could join the Whitecaps in Arizona next week, and stating that the trade may not involve any players heading to Philadelphia.

The Vancouver-LeToux link, which was first revealed on Twitter by UK Mirror writer Alan Nixon on Monday afternoon, comes after LeToux's brief trial with English club Bolton ended without him securing a transfer. The Union have been intent on moving LeToux, who is heading into the final year of his MLS contract, and now the club looks ready to do so by shipping him within MLS for allocation money.

A LeToux move to Vancouver would also leave the Whitecaps with a logjam at forward, where the team already has Eric Hassli, Camilo Sanvezzo, 2010 MLS No. 1 overall pick Omar Salgado and 2011 MLS No. 2 overall pick Darren Mattocks. Vancouver would be hard-pressed to keep all four of those forwards if LeToux were acquired, and would have no shortage of interest for the services of each of them.

Philadelphia has enough forwards on the roster to absorb the loss of LeToux from a roster standpoint, what with Danny Mwanga, Josue Martinez, Jack McInerney and Chandler Hoffman, but the Union will now have to turn to that young group to make up for all the goal and assist production LeToux provided over the course of the past two seasons with Philadelphia.

What do you think of this development? Worried about what the Union will do now without LeToux and Mondragon? Which forward do you see Vancouver unloading to make room for LeToux.

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50 Responses to Report: LeToux heading to Vancouver

  1. James says:

    As a Union fan, I don’t mind this move. Yes, I know I must be the only person from Philly who thinks that as well.
    But, as great as he was for us, you have to be objective and realize he is a 28 year old strike with a skill set that starts and ends at “runs hard.” I think a lot of his massive production had to simply do with the fact he was allowed to play every minute last year – no matter how ineffective he was (and trust me, he was invisible plenty of times).
    I also love that this removes the logjam at forward and allows our 3 exceptionally young and talented forwards to get playing time. I look forward to seeing our young strikers grow a lot this season and I think this move will also allow us to play a more attractive blend of soccer as well.

  2. Pete Wilson says:

    was TOTALLY against this but… when ya put it that way, i guess i can see the upside. my question is how do we get Torres and Adu on the field at the same time this season? i thought Torres outplayed Freddy every time they were both on the field..

    mwanga
    farfan torres adu
    gomez, akugo
    ……. ?

    i also predict 34 different starting line ups from Nowak this year haha

  3. James says:

    Haha yeah we still need to get past the whole 50 different lineups thing but I really like the possibilities that exist now. As for formation … I was thinking 4-3-3?
    JackMac – Mwanga – Martinez
    Adu – Carrol/Gomez – Torres

    I say this because I have heard JackMac has been playing outside forward in the U23 camp/games and I think Martinez has played their too.

  4. Blaise213 says:

    Trade Omar Salgado for Le Toux since the Whitecaps barely used him last year!

  5. jgsm1tty says:

    The sooner someone takes Salgado off our hands the better. I was at training this week and the lad’s a world class whiner. I don’t know whether it’s because he doesn’t want to be here or what, but his attitude sucks. Unless he gives his head a shake and realizes he’s got a lot of work to do, and starts acting and training like a man, he isn’t ever going to amount to anything.

    Take him, please take him. Someone. For the love of God.

  6. Joe says:

    Not sure about your midfield in that 4-3-3. Adu has shown that he plays better centrally and he cannot play center mid in a 4-3-3. He would more likely be a forward in that formation. Carroll is a great d-mid but not sure about his range. Gomez, from what I’ve seen could do it. It would be more likely that one of the Farfan’s would slot to either or both wings as they both have played d and you need your mids to play some d in that formation and tores and Adu are not known for that.

  7. abc says:

    Mwanga, Martinez, McInerney and Hoffman are “exceptionally young and talented forwards”?

    What does that make LeToux, Hassli, Camilo, Salgado, and Mattocks? Gods?

  8. abc says:

    He was 17 for almost the entire year, and they had Camilo and Hassli, you’re talking like they treated him unfairly…

  9. abc says:

    Details?

  10. abc says:

    If they trade LeToux and don’t get anyone back in return, they absolutely have to bring someone else in. That lineup is so unproven and problematic that they would almost certainly be taking a big step back from last year.

  11. aren’t the union also getting lionard pajoy, columbian cocaine lover?

  12. abc says:

    Not only is 28 is not that old, but to dismiss 28 goals 20 assists over two seasons with Philly as “runs hard”… that is not only absurd but also insulting.
    You do realize this is a player that a Premier League team almost paid seven figures for, right? Does the best league in the world have any interest in anyone else on the Union roster? Maybe Freddy “failed all across Europe” Adu?

  13. WR says:

    LeToux had the perfect attendance record and he scored goals but missed a lot too. Plus he would disappear for long stretches. Not a huge loss Carrol and Gomes paired in the middle is going to be deadly. Mwanga will have a chance to come out of his shell – assuming Nowak plays him and he doesn’t disappear to England. As for Mondi leaving – our back line is stronger than it was last year. MacMath has the skills. Defensively we played better with zack in goal because we actually built up from the back. Mondi would get wrapped up in his own head and often pissed off the rest of the team costing us matches. As for the Adu question, he needs to go wide. He is a sneaky sob out there and can make plays happen out of nowhere provided the rest of the team is cabable of reading his plans. MLS teams dont know how to handle wingers. Overall, I’ll miss Pauno the most. Dude didn’t always play and didn’t always score but he always put in 100% when he got the chance. He could turn games around.

  14. jgdurl says:

    DCU ought to snatch-up one of those strikers. If Vancouver are actually looking to unload.

  15. Agreed. Letoux is/was one of the best on the Union. In 1 day both Letoux and Man Dragon are gone and they get what in return? A box of ham and cheese hot pockets it seems.
    Everyone bags on Redbulls for making dumb moves. Well Philly, not wanting to be bested by Redbulls in stupidity has made this gem of a move.
    Well theres always Califf. HA!!!!!

  16. Jim says:

    I just don’t get why the Union are so willing to sell Le Toux. In the two years that he has been here, he has come pretty darn close to getting Icon status in Philadelphia. Another couple of years, he could become to the Union what Bobby Clarke is to the Flyers. Who is going to score goals next year? Danny has the talent, but his head doesn’t seem to alway be in the game, especially when he starts. Jack is still young, but he seems to be a poacher, not really able to take guys on his own and a greater reliance on his fellow attackers. I don’t know enough about the other young guys to form an opinion. I hope that I am completely wrong about both players, but I really don’t see the need to sell Le Toux. I was fine with him going to the EPL or even another foreign league, but to sell him to another MLS team for allocation money baffles me.

  17. A wise man once says:

    Doesn’t Vancouver have enough strikers?

  18. JoeW says:

    1. Granted, Le Toux ain’t the most skilled guy around. But 28 should be the “sweet spot” for most soccer players so to say he’s aging is just silly. Plus, the man is a good team leader (by example at least) and productive. I love Nowak but he’s very much “my way or the highway” and I can see him concluding that Le Toux is limiting or isn’t as bought in to his program.

    Bottom line: losing Le Toux and Mondragon means that the Union lose two guys with tremendous on-field leadership that you don’t easily replace.

    2. Carroll has very good range. Not the hardest tackling guy in the world but he reads the game superbly, will run all day, plays smart and sweeps ground like a Hoover on steroids. Playing with DCU (where he was behind some A-mids like Christian Gomez and Freddy Adu who weren’t ball winners) he had to cover ground and he did so very effectively.

    3. Adu played in a 4-3-3 under Rongen with the various U-sides. That said, he had mixed results…games where he impressed and games where he just completely disappeared. And you definitely don’t want Adu out on a wing.

    4. You can talk about a great mix of young attackers (and I agree there is nice potential there) but to look at it another way: how many goals have those players scored in total in MLS in the past 2 years? Philly better have someone else in their radar screens at forward.

  19. fischy says:

    The Life of Piotr Nowak is always intense.

  20. TFC says:

    Wouldn’t be suprised to see Salgado sent to the Zolo’s in exchange for Le Toux.. He hasn’t been happy since his arrival and he’s played for Nowak before??

  21. Shmenge says:

    Repo Man!

  22. Zigi says:

    Could see the Caps send Le Toux back to the Sounders for a midfielder, maybe Brad Evans.

  23. jim b says:

    Before yesterday I figured the East was up for grabs between SKC and Phili. Phili apparently want to take themselves out of the equation

  24. GSScasual says:

    chance of philly making playoffs? whats that funny video of the NFL coach talking about playoffs?

  25. Shmenge says:

    The West is going to be brutal this year with the new playoff format and all these teams ramping up.

    Quakes and Chivas USA might be in permanent trouble.

  26. AC/DC says:

    yea…i would want to leave Canada asap if i was Salgado

  27. Olly says:

    TFC will be fighting to win the east this year. They’re probably the only team in the east who have gotten better in the off season.

  28. Andrew says:

    Philly clearly was so cheap on this one. The discussion went like this, “I’m the best player on the team. I almost got signed by Bolton. I just want to be paid what I am worth, not 180,000.” The Union responded with, “We think you are worth a lot less than you think you are.” And then they traded our franchise player to Vancouver.

  29. Gilby says:

    This deal does not make sense to me from either side. Not sure what Nowak is thinking trading a two way striker with a proven record for scoring and producing for allocation money. In my mind the Union are making a very large bet on youth and talent over production and skill and that rarely works well in this league. The Whitecaps already have a huge stable of forwards including Hassli unless there is another deal in the works I’m not sure where all those guys play.

  30. eddie says:

    Nowak will never spend real money on a skillful striker. His management style is too stubborn. Unions downfall is a stubborn manager. He should look at Bruce Arena’s management style, which makes a lot more sense.

  31. pd says:

    Folks who are saying this is no big loss remind me of that scene in Monty Python’s “none shall pass” scene. Dude’s had his arms and legs lopped off and says “It’s merely a flesh wound…”

    LeToux was the only guy getting it done last year. Even if the young bucs figure it out quickly the learning curve is going to see at least three games dropped. That and the “brain” behind the back 4 is gone and we’re one Brian Carroll Injury away from having the spine of the team ripped out completely.

    I’ll hope for the best and other folks can talk tough all they want but there is no getting around the fact that these are HUGE shoes to fill.

  32. The Imperative Voice says:

    All due respect to the next generation talent but they aren’t anywhere near as productive right now. And whatever you want to say about LeToux he’s been double digit goals two years running. To me it sounds like the self-serving comments about CD9 as he headed to France, as though 10+ goals grow on trees. And LeToux makes less than $200K. Which means there’s not even DP money to try and replace the production.

    I also hear similar things from Houston fans about Boyd, we don’t need him, etc. Tell me that when you can’t score goals midseason.

  33. pd says:

    unless this is to get Bolton to make a counter offer

  34. The Imperative Voice says:

    Amen. Nowak is merely OK as a coach. He seems to be the sort of coach who harnesses maybe 1 or 2 good seasons from a team then burns everyone out. He ran the legs off that good DC team years ago.

  35. Donny says:

    Maybe thats the reason they went for Le2.

  36. Donny says:

    now youre talking

  37. cwbyjnky08 says:

    I think the key is that this is the last year of his contract. Being considered for the MVP award the last 2 years, I’m guessing the Union wanted to unload him and get something in return rather than keep him one more year, decide not to give him a big raise/dp status and get nothing in return.

  38. Kevin says:

    You’re sorely mistaken. He played all 90 minutes becasue… he could. His work ethic and fitness were exceptional. And oh yeah, he was top 2 in points scored BOTH years! Better than Beckham, Henry, Donovan, Shea, Wondoloski, etc. Do you think anyone would call a trade fo one of those players a good idea”? He is a legitimate MVP candidate.

    Perhaps the reason you saw him as “invisible” was because Novak repeatedly placed a true striker in the mid-field. Once he allowed Seb to roam up top last year(in the second half of the season), he immedaitely began scoring goals and in bunches…remember? Clearly, he has more skill sets other than “runs hard.” Goal scoring is at a premium, so much so that he led the team by a landlside for the past two years and was top 10 in goal scoring alone. Keep in mind that he’s younger than Landon Donovan, Henry, Beckham, and is the avergae age of the MLS CUP winning L.A. Galaxy.

    Mwanga will be gone (to Aston Villa) and the young players are untested and unproven. This move makes no sense.

  39. JJ says:

    Fans would love this, Sigi would not.

  40. jgsm1tty says:

    It IS important to remember the kid is 18. And from watching him you can tell he does have the tools. HOWEVER, he isn’t very good yet. He has the tendency to receive the ball, lean into the defender with his right shoulder, while holding the ball away with his strong left foot, (he has no right foot at this point… passed up a wide open shot on his right peg) and then dallies about looking for a moment to turn the defender. He may eventually lay the ball off.

    Jake DeClute (new assistant coach) was telling him he needs to makes quicker decisions. IE: Turn the player right away or lay the ball off quickly and then move. DON’T stand still and allow the defense to close you down.

    BUT, most notably was during the 11 v 11 game he spent ALOT of time with that whiney look on his face, and complained about offside calls, and fouls that he felt should have been called.

    I don’t know, but the impression you get is that he doesn’t want to be here. In interviews he looks dazed and elsewhere. You don’t see that when you see media of him with GA or the US National team.

    Regardless of how he feels about Canada, or Vancouver or whatever, as fans, most of us want him gone. A sulky 18 year old doesn’t win alot of respect.

  41. jgsm1tty says:

    Oh, and Mattocks looked WAY more dangerous than Omar. Scored a goal, and looked lively.

  42. Mark says:

    As a Red Bull fan, I’ll be interested to see how this plays out for Philly. High risk, high reward moves by handing the keys to MacMath and that stable of young forwards. Could be they’re all fearless and go out there an play well, or they could end up being a rudderless ship with few leaders who never get out of the gate this season.

    As they say, only time will tell, as these moves may look better in 2013 after the young guys have a full season to play together and learn some tough lessons…

  43. I was hoping the keepers would at least split time this year anyway so Mondy doesn’t bother me much. Unless MacMath goes to the Olympics, that’ll be a hell of a few weeks without Williams, MacMath, Okugo, Adu and Farfan. It’s great to have them all go but losing MacMath specifically creates a pretty big hole.

  44. MacMath was at least as good as Mondragon in his stint last season. I wouldn’t expect much of a drop off at keeper. Losing Le Toux is rough, but if they keep Roger Torres because of it and still have money left over to use the next few years, they could be a very potent force. A succesful MLS team should develop young players and sell them in order to develop better young players. Thats the way to succeed in this league and for this league to succeed. The Union realize that and may be pushing it too hard for some, but the idea of this lineup starting in MLS for the next few years really gets me excited.

    Mwanga 20 Martinez 21 McInerney 19 Hoffman 21
    Adu 22 Farfan and Farfan 23 Okugo 20 Torres 20 Pfeffer 17 Nakazawa 23
    Gaddis 22 Williams 21
    MacMath 20

    Show me another team with that kind of youth and we’ll have an MLS finals matchup a few years down the line

  45. Manhatten says:

    Carrol blows

  46. Trejo says:

    Im glad he is still in the league….fun player to watch

  47. Creighton says:

    Le Toux is one of the most skilled players in the league…huge loss

  48. sims says:

    Arena is stubbornly too defensive in approach also

  49. abc says:

    Okay a few years down the line… what about in 2012?