Photo: Earl Gardner
Le Toux talks
It just won’t stop.
As suggested by the 130 readers’ comments posted on PSP in less then 24 hours since the Le Toux transfer news broke, if the sadness felt by Union fans at the news of Sebastien Le Toux’s transfer to Vancouver wasn’t enough, subsequent comments from Peter Nowak and Le Toux will, for many, see that sadness turn to anger.
Before the official announcement of his transfer, Sebastien Le Toux told Delco Daily Times writer Chris Vito, “For now, all I can say is I’m very sad and disappointed.”
Meanwhile, Union coach Peter Nowak attempted to explain the reasons behind the Le Toux transfer at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon. “It’s not about one player, it’s about the future,” Nowak said. “We have to look at what kinds of commitments we have with other players. We’ll continue to build our franchise, and as I said, it’s not about one player. It’s about the players we have and foundation we have. We want to keep the group intact as much as we can.”
Nowak continued, “We have to understand that soccer is completely different from other sports in the US…We have to accept that this is a global sport…Soccer is different…there aren’t long-term local heroes and we have never made it a secret our intention to build the franchise around the whole team. We strongly believe a championship team is not when you have the best player; the championship team is when you have the best unit playing together as a team and that’s just the philosophy behind [this decision].”
Nowak also said the traded would enable the club to make new deals with several poorly compensated players such as Sheanon Williams.
Nowak described, “I have to ensure the team is good and they have a goal set up in front of them. It’s my job to make sure that the team will have a future. I have to see the overall picture and how the pieces fall into place.” But he may have may have hurt his own efforts to foster understanding for the transfer when prefaced those remarks with, “Feelings are not included in my job description.”
After the transfer announcement, Le Toux was much more frank, saying in an interview on Vancouver radio station 1410AM, that he found out about a possible transfer via Twitter and was informed he was leaving Philadelphia on his way to practice on Tuesday morning. Le Toux said, “The fact that I’m leaving, I was sad at the beginning because I’ve had two good years here. But after the fact, the coach of Philadelphia doesn’t really want me anymore in his team. The Whitecaps want me more and believe in me.”
That news was followed by what must be the most brutally frank soccer interview ever published in the Philadelphia-area press. Speaking again to the Delco Times’ Chris Vito, Le Toux made it clear that he wanted to stay in Philadelphia. “It had gotten to the point where I said to them, to Nick, to Peter, to everyone, ‘Just give me a contract and I will sign it,’” said Le Toux, “I wanted to stay in Philly. I didn’t care about the money.”
Le Toux said of the Union’s desire to transfer him, “The only thing they wanted is the money…That’s why they pushed me to Bolton—money.”
The Vito interview simply contains too many devastating quotes from a clearly upset and disappointed Le Toux. Click on the link above and read the interview yourself. For a transcript of the Peter Nowak press conference, click here.
Le Toux said of his time at Bolton, “It was just to visit – it was not really a tryout.”
PSP’s Dan Walsh posted his reaction to the Le Toux transfer Monday evening. Later this morning, look for more analysis and opinion from Adam Cann and Eli Pearlman-Storch. Also look for Earl Gardner’s photo essay of Le Toux’s farewell party at Kildare’s in West Chester.
At some point, Union fans will move beyond the sadness and anger felt at the news of Le Toux’s transfer, and the apparent manner in which it went down. Kerith Gabriel lays down the foundation for such reasonable thinking in this piece at the Daily News in which he concludes of the Le Toux transfer, “It’s unfortunate, but, more important, it’s business.” It is a thoughtful, necessary look at what has happened. For many Union fans, it just may be too soon.
Goal.com takes a deep look at the Le Toux and Mondragon moves, which “look downright disastrous for a side attempting to build upon its first playoff appearance,” and says, “In the case of such high-profile departures, the underlying reasons behind them often prove far more important to the club’s future.”
Soccer America reports on the Le Toux transfer.
Unholy Union is not pleased.
Reaction to the Le Toux transfer from the Whitecaps website.
Vancouver coach Martin Rennie says the club made inquiries about Le Toux last season. This time it was the Union who approached them. “Once it was presented to us, it was a great opportunity that we had to take.”
Rennie said of Le Toux, ““He is a durable, fit and speedy attacker who is capable of playing either up front or wide in midfield. We’re delighted to bring Sebastien back to the Pacific Northwest.”
Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi on Le Toux: “He’s not just a guy that can score goals — he works his ass off as well.”
One Vancouver writer notes that news of Le Toux’s signing caused “consternation and speculation amongst supporters,” not because he isn’t good, but because “he is yet another striker in a team that now has the potential for more goals than a post-Christmas Weight Watchers meeting.”
Nevertheless, this Whitecaps blogger writes, “I rate this signing up there with the signing of Eric Hassli in terms of quality and excitement.”
Lost in the furor surrounding the Le Toux transfer was the news that the Union have secured the rights to Roger Torres from America de Cali, the Colombian club from which he had been on loan the past two seasons. This is exciting, good news. To the extent that it is connected to Le Toux’s departure, I can’t help but think of the scene in Saving Private Ryan when a dying Tom Hanks says to Matt Damon, “Earn this.”
Also, early this morning, a source told PSP that the Union were preparing to deal Kyle Nakazawa to LA Galaxy in return for an international roster spot and two second round draft picks.
The 2012 National Soccer hall of Fame ballot has been released. Peter Nowak, in his final year of eligibility, is among the nominees on the player ballot.
Penn State defender Mark Fetrow, taken in the fourth round of the Supplemental Draft, has been released by Vancouver.
Look for a Borislow update from PSP’s Mike Servedio later this morning.
The cancellation of the 2012 season has huge ramifications for international women’s soccer. Five leading British players are among those affected as the Great Britain team prepares for Olympic qualification with England and Great Britain’s Kelly Smith saying, “We have got qualification for the Euros happening this year. We have got a big game against Holland in June. That will determine whether we go to the Euros in 2013, so I need to be playing regular football. Where that may be, I don’t know yet….You have got to be playing and you have got to be in form going into the tournament.”
Closer to home, former goalkeeper for the Philadelphia Independence and Canadian international Katrina LeBlanc said, “We really needed the league to help us prepare for the Olympics,” LeBlanc said in an interview. “I’m in shock and a lot of us are in that what-do-we-do-now stage, trying to figure out the best possible move. My agent will make some calls about the possibility of playing overseas.”
Canada coach John Herdmen said for some of the players “their world has been tipped upside down,” adding “It’s going to have a huge impact in terms of how we strategize to give these girls the best opportunity to win gold.”
Julie Foudy talks to NPR about the cancellation of the 2012 season.
The former general manager of Boston Breakers offers his memories of the league. Some really good stuff here, both funny and sad.
The Guardian weighs in on the season cancellation.
MLSsoccer.com runs down the transactions on the final day of the International transfer window.
Edson Buddle is without a club in Europe.
The ever-fascinating Joey Barton speaks out agaisnt homophobia in soccer.
FIFA says a decision will be reached about goal-line technology in July.
Also in July, John Terry will have his court date over charges of racial abuse.