Former Union striker and all-time leading scorer Sebastien Le Toux was traded Friday to the New York Red Bulls for Dane Richards and allocation money. Both Le Toux and Richards will be available for selection this weekend.
Chances are, you are currently experiencing one of the following reactions:
- One of the two most beloved players in Union history (oh hay, Danny Califf!) is a Red Bull!? Quick! Siri: How do I make a pitchfork?
- Poor Seba, getting traded from coast to coast twice in one year!
- Whatevs, broski. I’ve been saying that guy was overrated since he was underrated. And now that a team near the top of the standings acquired him for an underperforming winger, I’m going to consider this confirmation of my genius. [Retweets all "Frenchie is overrated" tweets. Adds, "Told ya"]
This deal has nothing to do with the Union beyond stoking an already piping hot rivalry with New York. Until Jack McInerney came in from the cold, few Union supporters would have balked at bringing Sebastien Le Toux back in exchange for a winger and money. He had a hand in a fifth of Vancouver’s goals and contributed to a major turnaround in the team’s fortunes. To secure a long-term future on the west coast, however, Le Toux would have had to be MVP-caliber because the Whitecaps had accumulated more strikers than a 1930s automobile factory.
So to those who think this raises the stakes for the Union-Red Bulls rivalry: Have at it! Nothing could be better for soccer in this city.
To those who feel for a good player and a great guy: You’re right. It sucks to move back and forth twice in seven months. Let’s hope Seba finds another welcoming community soon (probably won’t be Harrison,
New York New Jersey).
And finally, to those who think you’ve been vindicated: You haven’t. And I’d love to hear what you said about Dwayne De Rosario when the Red Bulls traded him away. Or about Kyle Beckerman when Colorado traded him away. Or about Julian De Guzman when Toron… no, wait. That guy is seriously overrated.
The departure of the French striker foreshadowed the Union’s disintegration under Nowak’s leadership. After a 2011 playoff run, Nowak replaced Le Toux with goal-shy Lionard Pajoy, feuded with and then traded captain Danny Califf, froze out and then traded Danny Mwanga, and pretended that Jack McInerney and Amobi Okugo did not exist.
Le Toux started all but one match for the Whitecaps this season, tallying four goals and one assist while playing largely on the wing instead of the center forward position he excelled at with the Union. He never looked very comfortable in coach Martin Rennie’s system, however, and the recent emergence of 2012 number two overall pick Darren Mattocks made the Frenchman surplus to requirements.