Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz
Sebastien Le Toux talks to MLS Reserves about leaving the Union:
Nobody was talking to me or telling me what was going on until February 1st. I found out quickly that Philadelphia did not want to sign me and a trade was going to happen. The trade for me was a bit ridiculous because of how I was playing with Philadelphia and my connection with the fans. It seemed good to me but they decided other things. The way they treated me, I was sad about it.”
What I want people to know about my story is what I’m telling you right now: it was not my idea to go to Bolton, Philadelphia sent me there. My first answer was to say no I want to stay here, give me a new contract if possible. So things went different ways…For me, I had a good connection with Nick Sakiewicz [Union CEO] and its Peter Nowak who decides my contract with Diego Gutierrez [Sporting Director].
Le Toux says of playing in Philly:
Great memories. I’m not going to dwell on Peter Nowak. As a manager, for two years, those were my two best years as a soccer player in the US. The fans were amazing to me and it’s a great town to play sports. Haha, it’s a sports town so it’s a great memory. I would come back to that town for vacation and I keep great contact with the fans. Always happy to come back and playing in front of those fans. It’s just positive. The good wins over the negative.
And on how he connects with fans:
Due to an overwhelming response, the Union Fan Fest scheduled for March 14 at Chickie’s & Pete’s PLAY2 will only be open to full season ticket holders who have pre-registered. I’m a Founding Member and I never received an email that said I had to register for the event. How about you?
The season preview from The Oregonian’s OregonLive.com says of the Union, “Philadelphia will remain a solid club simply because they play team defense so well, but their fortunes will depend upon if they get enough scoring.” Yep.
The Kansas City Daily Herald sees the Union finishing third in the Eastern Conference if “Lionard Pajoy, Danny Mwanga and rookie Chandler Hoffman can score enough to make fans forget Sebastien Le Toux was traded.”
Sports betting site the spread.com has the Union finishing ninth in the league (fourth in the East) with 18/1 odds of winning the championship.
At Goal.com, Kyle McCarthy predicts the Union will finish seventh in the Eastern Conference. “On the whole, it seems like a bridge too far to expect this group to subtract its two best players from the last campaign and replicate the form that secured a playoff berth last season.”
Goal.com also has a crap season preview that reads like it was written by Google and an ambitious 12-year-old in need of an editor. Why do I keep seeing stories that talk about “fisticuffs” in Costa Rica when, according to the video evidence, no one threw a punch?
Three local lads with connections to the Union academy system are at the US U-15 camp in California. They are goalkeeper Cameron Keys (Philadelphia Union; Whitehill, Pa.) and midfielders Chris Gomez (PDA; Jamison, Pa.) and Sean Wilson (PDA; Bethlehem, Pa.).
Faryd Mondragon update: the former Union goalkeeper gave up three goals in Deportivo Cali’s 3–1 loss to Boyaca Chico on Saturday. Cali is currently in 16th place in the 18-team Fútbol Profesional Colombiano with a 1–4–1 record and a -7 goal difference.
Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer celebrated its 40th anniversary on Saturday night at the Crowne Plaza Philadelphia Downtown. A whole slew of awards were handed out.
You will remember the Q&A we did back in January with Ashwin Chaudhary who, along with fellow Philadelphia-area native Jon Korn, made the film about the 2010 World Cup, Laduma. Philadelphia Union writer Dave Zeitlin now has a piece about the film and the filmmakers at MLSsoccer.com. If you get a chance to see the film, do so, it’s terrific.
The Vancouver Sun Whitecaps preview says of Sebastien Le Toux, “Le Toux is capable of scoring anywhere between ten and fifteen goals this year.” Ugh. Noting that the Whitecaps “have a reliable back-up player in almost every position,” the Sun also says Jordan Harvey may be the team’s best underused player in 2012. “Harvey may even find that, as with last year, his most frequent opportunities come as a left-sided midfielder, particularly on the road when a more defensive line-up may be required.”
The Vancouver Sun also says the Whitecaps may get Carlos Bocanegra if he is released by Glasgow Rangers.
17, 352 fans were on hand to see Kris Boyd score in his debut for the Portland Timbers in their 1–0 win over Swedish side AIK. Heading into the season opener against the Union, the Timbers are 4–0–3. The Union finished their preseason 2–2–2. SBI previews the Timbers.
Even though a 25 foot chunk of concrete fell from the roof of the indoor parking lot at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Sunday, Quebec Tourism Minister Nicole Menard says the stadium is ready to host the Impact’s home opener on March 17.
Forbes looks at the league’s “shrink to success formula.”
Voice of San Diego floats a novel idea for funding the construction of a new stadium: Rather than looking for money from local and state government, ask the fans to pay for it by buying in with shares.
Former Union color analyst Kyle Martino will partner with Arlo White for NBC Sports’ MLS broadcasts.
CONCACAF Champions League
The Champions League returns tonight with Monarcas Morelia vs. Monterrey (8pm, CONCACAF.tv). On Wednesday, Toronto FC will host the Galaxy (8pm, FSC) and Seattle Sounders will host Santos Laguna (10pm, FSC).
Sportsnet.ca has five reasons to watch the Toronto vs. LA game.
The USWNT lost to Japan 1–0 in the Algarve Cup on Monday in the two team’s first meeting since the 2011 Women’s World Cup final. The loss means that for the first time since 2002, the US will not appear in the tournament final.
Soccer America says giveaways doomed the US.
The New York Times looks at Japan’s progress to the top of the international stage. In the article, Heather O’Reilly says of the differences between the US and Japan,
There are two very different styles: they are very patient and technical—they almost overpass—and their challenge is to get better in the final third of the field and impose themselves on the game more. Our battle is sometimes we are too direct and athletic, and we’re trying to break the habit and become more technical and sophisticated by making the extra pass. We’re both growing and evolving, but maybe in the opposite fashion. We’ve come to see we just can’t get by on athleticism, competitiveness and determination—that will always separate Americans. It’s about seeing the game as a chess match and breaking down teams instead of just imposing our will.
Jurgen Klinsmann tells Goal.com that playground soccer and pickup games are a key to early success.
Former Secretary General of U.S. Soccer Hank Steinbrecher was presented with the 2012 Werner Fricker Builder Award at U.S. Soccer’s Annual General Meeting last weekend.
Republicans are zeroing in on $750,000 used to build a soccer pitch at Guantanamo as an example of “President Obama’s priorities in action.” Morons.
FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke has apologized to Brazil for saying, “You have to push yourself, kick your ass.” He blames translators.
FIFA’s executive committee will soon vote on ending February and August international friendlies.
US Soccer Players looks at recent rule changes approved by the International Football Association Board. “Eventually, all of these items should be added to the rules since the upside (making the game better) outweighs the downside (it might not be the perfect implementation). Instead, necessary changes get the lengthy treatment only a bureaucracy can provide.”
Andy Gray feels sorry for himself.