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Sebastien Le Toux in England, rumored Bolton transfer

[UPDATES:

Narducci writes further, “Another MLS source said that the selling of Le Toux was not a done deal, and that the Union don’t want to see Le Toux go because of his productivity and popularity.”

Marc Narducci reports that Peter Nowak responded to the Le Toux news by text. “Team policy is we don’t comment or discuss on anything that is not certain. We know Sebastien Le Toux is in England, we granted him permission to go, but he is still our player and there is nothing to comment on.”

The BBC reports, “Bolton manager Owen Coyle has confirmed striker Sebastian Le Toux has joined the club for a week’s training.

The Daily Mail reports, “Owen Coyle has launched another raid on America’s Major League Soccer after lining up a cut-price move for Philadelphia Union striker Sebastien Le Toux.”

Bolton manager Owen Coyle confirms Sebastien Le Toux is trialing with the Premiership club. “We have received good reports about Sebastian, so we thought we would give him an opportunity to come into the group,” Coyle told the Daily Mirror. “He will train with us for a week and we will see where we are after that.”

Kerith Gabriel reports, “A team source said as of now only preliminary discussions are in the works with no official offer.” He then offers this speculation: “Could there be a connection between the news of Le Toux’s potential move and the release of four players and the acquisition of a potential giant?”]

Fox Soccer is reporting that Union striker/top scorer/face-of-the-franchise/fan-favorite Sebastien Le Toux began training with the English Premier League’s Bolton Wanderers ahead of a transfer that will be completed by the end of the week.

As of 12:40 p.m., no sources have confirmed the Fox report. The Union have officially responded to inquiries on the transfer rumor by saying, “At this time, we have no comment.”

On Tuesday evening, Le Toux tweeted, “On a jet plane to England.” Since he has a European Union passport, Le Toux can leap right in and help Bolton immediately. Their current stable of strikers is led by Kevin Davies and Ivan Klasnic, with Liverpool reject David Ngog deputizing. In short, Le Toux should have every opportunity to earn playing time.

Bolton tends to play a long ball game, so they will be looking for a striker who can make runs in behind a defense, shoot first, and ask questions later. While he doesn’t have an all-world shot, Le Toux can make all-world runs. His work rate will translate well to the pace of the English game.

And while this appears to be sad news for Union fans, we all know that if any Union player has earned the right to test his game in one of the world’s best leagues, it is Sebastien Le Toux. Unprotected by Seattle, uncertain where he would play each night in Philly, unwavering in his love of the game and this city, Sebastien Le Toux has earned our well wishes if he moves on to bigger things.

More on this as it develops.

49 Comments

  1. Double Fuck.

  2. Triple Fuck.

  3. I think I actually just welled up a bit, goddamn man…

  4. Holy shit. I am both totally chuffed for him and gutted for us. I mean, how can we do anything but hope it works out for Seba? But man oh man will I miss him. His is the only name I’ve ever wanted on my Union jersey.

  5. Good for him. glad. But… Fuck.

    • Ultimately yes, this is great for him. I wish him all the best and look forward to watching him at Bolton but man this on stings. Completely changes dynamic of the team…for the worse. Im having a hard time identifying anyone on our roster who could fill his boots…even slightly

      • The only bright side is it would free up the striker position for Mwanga, and allow wingers who are actually wingers to play on the wing, instead of shunting Le Toux out there to keep him on the field.

  6. What he desires is to stay the face of the franchise AND paid ADU’s contract!

  7. Depression sets in, where’s my Welbutrin?

  8. This opinion may run me off this site, but honestly I don’t mind. First of all it, goes without saying he deserves a spot in the team Hall of Fame for being the #1 reason for our on field success our first two years.
    But honestly, there are a lot of positives here. First of all, let’s look at him as a player. What would you call his best, #1 trait? He “works hard.” While that is a valuable trait on a soccer team, we all also know that in sports, the David Eickstein, aka “he works hard!”, compliment is a code phrase for there really isn’t much else worthwhile about his game. Le Toux can disappear for games at a time, has no touch, and can make bad decisions. We’ve also seen him miss plenty of chances.
    I honestly think that if we gave our current forwards the same sort of “You’ll play every minute of the season no matter how badly you play!” free pass that Le Toux had, they’re all capable of scoring 10+ goals too.
    And that’s were the positives for the team comes in. It opens up the striker core for our young, 100% MLS star potential strikers – JackMac, Mwanga, and Martinez. It will also allow players like Marfan or Adu to slot up top at times (which we know will happen because of Nowak’s tinkering – and really this kind of tinkering will work better than playing a MF at LB, for example).
    Our current strikers without Le Toux are fully capable of playing a possession, fluid offensive game, and the lack of a “he works hard” forward will cut down the possibility we resort to playing long balls all game as well.
    So there it is. I am in no way taking away from what he did for us. But in all honestly, I feel like this is a good move going forward for us.

    • And sorry if that came off harsh, some words came out wrong. I should proof read these things more often.

      • James.. really can’t argue with you.. but.. Le Toux had that magic fairly dust that I feel just made the team work harder and play better… even if he himself was having a less that stellar game, that fact that he was 110%, 110% of the time I think made the team better… and that will be missed..

        But, I guess Bolton is my favorite EPL team now…

        • And, what’s more, when actually played as the main striker, Le Toux was consistently effective. Rarely was his running around not useful, and I agree with Steve, his example set the tone for the rest of the team.

  9. It seems like if Le Toux leaves, it’ll be the way he represented to link between club and fans both on and off the field that will be missed most of all.

  10. WOW….Holy Shiz…I sure hope Josue Martinez is a player because otherwise we are super-thin up top. I’m neither sold on Mwanga nor Jack Mac as legit “icewater-in-their-veins” snipers. Like James said there are ‘some’ positives. Perhaps we will see Freddy Adu (if he stays) more a striker? Maybe Marfan will play a more prominent offensive role? But I’m still reeling from the news that our best player has been sold….

    • I know I am higher on Mwanga and JackMac probably anyone else on here … but they were top 10 picks. JackMac is earning rave reviews at the U23 camp and Mwanga is still considered one of the top young striker prospects in MLS (just look at the PSP post like two posts before this one).
      I don’t understand how people can be harsh on these kids when they never play or get consistent chances. You need to play to prove your worth and losing Le Toux opens up that chance, and I am fairly confident at least one of them will pan out.

  11. Icing on the cake on the day Seba gets sold and Levi gets released, I open my email and find an email from the Union asking me to upgrade to a full season ticket plan. Dicks! Bad day to ask.

  12. MikeRSoccer says:

    Yes, Le Toux deserves an opportunity to play close to home and in an excellent league, but this move has bigger implications. Are we going to be one of those teams who finds, develops and popularizes big name players only to cash in on them before the franchise reaps rewards of their success? I sure hope not. If we had just won the MLS cup I would be all for this move, but we didn’t. The way this move is being spelled out in the Fox Soccer news article it sounds like we are a team strapped for cash trying to keep our young guns by selling other players. We’re not a financially troubled franchise with big DP salaries to finance, low attendance or outstanding stadium/construction fees to pay. We have the second largest sponsorship deal in MLS that destroyed our beautiful jerseys so we could have that absurd sum of money, stable and well financed ownership and a filled stadium nearly every game. How is it possible that we can’t afford to NOT sell Le Toux? Does this mean that in the summer or next January Williams, Valdes, Okugo, Mwanga, Torres, Adu, or Farfan could be leaving? This move certainly suggests that that is entirely possible. I don’t want a revolving door franchise that always has a good team, but never a great team. Let’s win something before we start selling our talent. The team owes it to the fan base. The players owe it to the fan base. MLS owes it to the fan base. This is the big league, not the farm system.

    • This is a very good point and a different way to look at it. The only really thing I can think of that would calm these fears is that at least you can say Le Toux is old (atleast compared to our core) and is not going to get better or surprise us. If the Unions philosophy is to go young and groom talent over years, then Le Toux does not fit into that picture.

      • MikeRSoccer says:

        I agree in principle, but the problem is that there is such a thing as thinking too far ahead. Yes, dimming the now prospects in the name of the future is a good approach, but Le Toux is athletic enough where he could stay on this team in some facet until he is 33 or 35 even. Heck, even if 3 years from now he peaks and its time to move on that is still in the time frame of us winning an MLS cup. In the MLS it’s a balancing act where you have to bank on some of the prospects not working out and others being so good that we simply have no chance to hold on to them. This would be similar to the Eagles getting rid of Donovan McNabb in 2005.

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      You make a number of fine points Mike. I’m still shocked by the potentialities of the Fox report. Hopefully we’ll have something more concrete to go on than the rather vague generalities in the Fox report sooner than later.

    • Some of those Le Toux bucks coming back can secure us some hot Torres action. And if we lose Adu we will suddenly be sitting on a pile of cash.

    • What about what the team (and the fan base) owes Le Toux? Playing in the English Premier League is one of the greatest things a player can achieve. He’s going to receive the kind of money that will alter his life and the chance to play in the most storied soccer tradition in the world. Hundreds of millions of people around the world are going to watch him play Liverpool & Man U & Arsenal. This is the opportunity of a lifetime. And you want the team to deny him this opportunity?

      A couple of years ago I was visiting friends in West Chester and I got to meet Seba at a bar. He was one of the nicest and most likable athletes I’ve ever met. If the Union denied him this opportunity, I’d have a hard time supporting them.

      As much as they may love being here, every single player on that pitch dreams of playing in the EPL or La Liga or Serie A. When they get that opportunity we should be very happy for them, and I’m proud that our club can help them reach their dreams.

      • MikeRSoccer says:

        Completely agree with the fact that Le Toux deserves the right to do this and that it is a wonderful achievement. You are misunderstanding me, or perhaps I didn’t explain my reasoning that well, I am upset with the idea of our team becoming a feeder system for bigger leagues and teams. I am saying that the team, players and MLS owe it to the fans to work towards something bigger and better than a farm system. I think all of us would agree that we have higher expectations than being a stepping stone in a players career to their true goal, i.e. Premier league, and one of the steps towards that is altering the mindset of franchises, the league and teams to a more team, city and fan oriented view rather than a place to showcase skills for European clubs.

        • Ed Farnsworth says:

          Hence Adam finishing the post by saying Seba has earned our well wishes if he moves on to better things.

        • I understand that, but it’s unrealistic to think we’ll be anything other than a feeder system for a long time. MLS is not even the most successful league in our own country. As long as more people are watching a replay of a EPL match than are watching the MLS Cup Finals, MLS is going to remain a minor league.

          But I’m cool with that. I think in a lot of ways it is like college athletics. I LOVE Temple, but I know that no one will be there for more than four years and if they’re good enough, it won’t even be that. I’m fine with the fact that any player who is really good will only be on the Union either BEFORE (like LeToux and, soon, Sheanomenon & Amobeast) or AFTER (Paunovic & Mondragon) they’re successful in Europe.

          So, I don’t have those expectations. And unless Bill Gates is going to spend the rest of his fortune on making MLS on par with Serie A, or MLS replaces the NFL, it’s unrealistic to expect we’ll be anything more.

          • And (while this is another topic that can go on for days) what exactly is wrong with being a feeder system for Europe, and hopefully one day, the top leagues in the world? Look at it like any league that isn’t in the top 5 of the world IS a feeder league for those leagues. Countries with supreme talent like Brazil and Argentina and the Netherlands and etc.
            I think it’s total arrogance for the MLS to try to bust onto the soccer scene like this when it’s a 6th rate sport in our country, and it does things so differently while trying to tell us its the best way ever. Let’s worry about making people respect soccer in America first, then worry about sending young Americans to Europe consistently (which is the opposite of a bad thing imo), BEFORE we worry about being able to pencil our league in the top 5 or 10 or 25.
            Hell if an European ever refers to the MLS as a “feeder league” to the top leagues in Europe … thats a damn good thing imo.

  13. Good for Le Toux. I’m glad he’s finally going to get paid what he is worth.

    I disagree that this is in anyway “good” for the team. I think those that say one of the younger forwards can step in and fill his shoes right away are engaging in wishful thinking. The guy is what, 80% of our offense? Where are the goals going to come from?

    Bye Bye playoffs…

    • I agree. In no way is this a good move (other than financially).

    • I don’t know if I’d go that far. This certainly doesn’t help the club, but there’s a developing school of research that teams can improve when losing their best player. If this allows JackMac (who, let’s not forget, is tearing through the U23 camp), Mwanga, Martinez and maybe Hoffman to develop and flourish, we could still make the playoffs.

      If this is our ticket to buying back El Pescadito, then yes, let’s start scouting next year’s draft.

    • I definitely think his offensive importance is overstated at times due to the fact he played every minute and looked more than invisible and ineffective for long stretches of time.
      He was so involved in our offense not because he is vastly skilled or did amazing things on the pitch. It was simple hard work and at times, stubborn perseverance that led to pay offs.
      Every striker waiting in the wings has top potential and has had flashes of great play. I for one am happy we can move forward with these kids instead of locking down a striker spot all season with someone who faced no accountability for being invisible at times.

      • Union Goals Scored Since 2010:
        Le Toux: 25
        Rest of Team: 53

        Union Assists Since 2010:
        Le Toux: 20
        Rest of Team: 53

        By himself, Le Toux accounts for about 1/3 of our entire offense. You can argue that (1) it’s only because he was on the field all the time, but there were (almost) always another 9 field players out there as well. Their COMBINED production barely doubles his ALONE. Heck, and he did that playing mid half the time too…

        I also don’t get the argument that he has no touch or technical ability. First off, I must be watching different games from you. He seems to have pretty good touch to me, and (when he is on) his finishing is terrific.

        As for the younger player argument, yes, removing Seba gives the other younger players a chance to develop. So too would getting rid of Tom Brady give Ryan Mallet a chance to develop. But why get rid of someone that is not just a known quantity, but on that is excelling for you, for the chance that a young player can do it better. It’s not like Le Toux is 34 years old. He’s in his prime. You keep him and find other ways to develop the kids, IMHO.

  14. Pingback: Sebastian Le Toux Is Being Sold To Bolton By Philadelphia Union « CBS Philly

  15. In other news, Carlos Ruiz was just spotted at the Philly airport…

  16. First LeToux and know Pauno has retired according to the U website. And with the four guys this morning they are really cleaning house today!

    • They definitely brought in a enough players to offset it though. For a while there I was wondering if Nowak thought the MLS had no roster size limit.

  17. Great. First Le Toux, then puano now watch theyll announce Daniels gone to

  18. I kinda just wanna cry. For Seba, I’m as happy as could be. The guy is a textbook example of hard work paying off and is an excellent role model for any young athlete. As a Union fan, I’m devastated. As a sports fan, I have never encountered such an endearing player who could always be counted on to give his all. Even during his struggles, I felt no frustration, only sympathy, because I could see how badly he wanted it.

    My favorite Seba moment was my very first Union game. After the match, a win, Le Toux circled the field, shaking hands and signing autographs for as many fans as he could. He was with the fans so long, members of the Union staff had to come back out on the field to call him into the locker room.

    I think Le Toux fully understood the relationship between fans and team, and I know Union fans will always remember him as our first hero. Hopefully, we have given an experience to him that he will always remember and treasure as well.

    There’s still a small part of me that believes Le Toux will be back… but I know that’s simple wishful thinking.

    Cheers Seba! Thanks for the memories and your dedicated service.

  19. While this is certainly a tough loss for the team, I honestly think this is a good decision by the Union in the long run. In the short run, the argument that we are better without him is nonsense. Le Toux was by far our best player when he played as a striker; his problems came from being juggled around and played on the wing. In the long-run though, this is the right decision for the franchise.

    Number one, Le Toux obviously wants to go. If we refused him this opportunity, we would lose a lot of respect from young talented players. Number two, if Le Toux and some of are other prospects are successful in the future, the Union staff can develop a reputation as bringing the best out of players, which will help us recruit top talent. Number three, the presence of Le Toux somewhat inhibited our ability to grow as a technical team. Le Toux was a great player, but not an exceptionally technical one or classical striker. It may take time, but I would bet on two of Mwanga, Martinez, Mac, and Hoffman working out. In that time, the Farfans have the potential to become some of the best wingers in the league, particularly with a talented CAM in-between them (Torres or Adu). We have Amobi Okugo as a bright talent, as well as fellow probable Olympians in Williams and Macmath. The future remains bright.

  20. Pingback: The Philly Soccer Page » Buy low, sell high: The Sebastian Le Toux story

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