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Le Return, le re-entry, more le news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

A little bit of 2013 came early on Thursday with the news that Sebastien Le Toux has been reacquired by the Union in a trade with New York Red Bulls that saw an undisclosed amount of allocation money and Costa Rican forward Josue Martinez headed up I-95 in exchange for the all-time leading Union goalscorer and fan favorite.

Said Le Toux, “It feels great, this is probably one of the best days of my year right now. I am very happy to get back with this team. I just want to the team to succeed and I love to play in front of these fans here. And yeah if everything goes well, I want to finish my career in Philadelphia.”

He later tweeted,

The official press conference announcing Le Toux’s return will be streamed live on the Union website today at 10am.

SBI first broke news of the deal that was soon officially confirmed by the Union and New York. Earlier in the day, SBI reported that New York had secured the rights to the then out-of -contract Le Toux ahead of a trade deal.

More reports from the Union website, PSP, Philly.com, Delco Times, Union Tally, CSN Philly, Philly Soccer News, Brotherly Game, Union Dues, the Red Bulls website, New York Daily News, Big Apple Soccer, Empire of Soccer, Once a Metro, MLSsoccer.com, Sporting News, Soccer America, ProSoccerTalk, Goal.com, SB Nation, The Sports Network, the AP, and the Examiner.

Ryan Bright writes at CSN, “Off the field, the transaction will be a popular one. On the field, the move is curious for the Union, who are loaded with young talent up front.” He’s right, of course, but as Conor Grady wrote for PSP, “be grateful for what you have.” Enjoy the moment, remeber what it’s like to feel excited. And remember, this is the first offseason acquisition for 2013, not the last. Which leads to…

The Le Toux news broke shortly before Thursday’s 5pm trade blackout ahead of Stage 1 of the Re-Entry Draft Process, which will take place today at 3pm. Here’s the updated list of players available, which is smaller than the list that came out earlier this week because some players have made new deals with their clubs.. Trades can resume again after Stage 1 is complete until the second blackout next Thursday at 5pm ahead of Stage 2 of the Re-Entry process next Friday. Will the Union continue their offseason moves in Stage 1? We shall see, but it may just be that the dealing will begin after when negotiations for new contract terms can begin ahead of Stage 2.

Soccer Long Island Magazine has a Q&A with Zac MacMath. The Union goalkeeper stresses the trip to Everton was simply a training trip, says that he has had no contact with the USMNT, and his belief that the Union is heading in the right direction:

“I think they’ve got all the right ideas, and they’re starting to put everything in place. It’s a very young and inexperienced team, but they’ve got all the right pieces, and they’re starting to put it all together to become a very strong power, more or less, and I think that’s going to start this year with this new season, new coaching staff, a couple of new players.  Everyone is just looking forward to being the team that we all want to be, being one of the best teams in the league.”

At Yanks Abroad, Brian Sciaretta has more information on Zach Pfeffer’s loan to Hoffenheim. “The plan is for him to begin playing with Hoffenheim’s U-19 team but quickly move up to the U-23 team Regionalliga which is one level below the senior team.” Sciaretta continues,

“Industry sources have confirmed to YA that Hoffenheim rate Pfeffer, a US U-18 international, highly and are interested on bringing him in for a full year. Due to FIFA rules, Hoffeneheim were never able make a push to sign Pfeffer permanently before he turned 18…Hoffenheim’s interest in taking Pfeffer on loan is for an extended look and should he impress in 2013, the club will be better prepared to make an offer for a transfer. There is no set option to buy on this loan and the Union has already exercised the club option for 2014 on Pfeffer’s contract.”

Tickets are still available for Saturday’s Help Kick Hunger event

Local

Former Reading United players Ryan Finley (Notre Dame) and Jose Gomez (Creighton) are two of the three finalists for the MACC Hermann Trophy. Finley had earlier earned Big East Offensive Player of the Year honors while Gomez was named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year.

MLS

At Goal.com, Kyle McCarthy has some picks of players that might be picked up in today’s Re-Entry draft.

The 2013 MLS SuperDraft will take place in Indianapolis on Jan. 17.

Sporting News has some interesting suggestions for how every MLS team should re-think its offseason plans.

Those rumors out of England that Arsenal are pushing for another Thierry Henry loan? A Red Bulls official says, “no club has made a request for a loan for any of our players.” So far, anyway.

MLS Talk wonders who the league should pursue to replace David Beckham as the new face of MLS.

Pablo Mastroeni has re-signed with Colorado Rapids. Gonzalo Segares has re-signed with Chicago Fire.

The Queens Tribune has an extended report on the recent town hall meeting for the proposed stadium at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

US

Clint Dempsey had a goal and an assist in Tottenham’s 3-1 win over Panathinaikos to advance to the round of 32 in the Europa League.

Stuart Holden has returned to first-team training with Bolton.

Elsewhere

UEFA has announced that the Euro 2020 tournament will be staged at a number of cities across the continent. Reaction from the Guardian.

The ban on former FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam has been extended after an investigation into his financial affairs.

Romario, now a representative in Brazil’s congress, has secured enough signatures from fellow investigators to launch an investigation into alleged corruption at the Brazilian Football Confederation.

 

19 Comments

  1. Union Rumors says:

    Who’s got two thumbs and said back in July that Le Toux would return? THIS GUY! Just sayin’ … very exciting times around the Union camp. When is the last time we could feel positive about a player transaction?

  2. I just hope we don’t bring in another striker at this point. I don’t want a repeat of the 10-11 of season, where a promising Mwanga was buried around a new needless forward signing.
    All the goodwill of this move will go away if we bring in another striker who will only cannibalize minutes from Jack.

  3. I am really starting to lose my mind over all the Seba hate that is popping up from certain people.

    Someone please answer me this . . . Where is all this young attacking talent? Would the real No.1 striker please stand up? Jack Mac? OK, he’s a striker. Hoppenot? REALLY?! He’s a spark plug for sure, but he is not a legitimate option for the future, as was evidenced by the fact that teams effectively shut him down by the end of the season.

    So what we’ve got here is one striker (Jack) who is good. Who is next behind him? Le Toux immediately makes the team significantly more dangerous.

    • It isn’t hate. But LeToux is who he is, and what he is isn’t necessarily good enough to pass on the development of their new strikers who at this point their ceiling is unknown. Letoux and Jack Mac are redundant and unless Hackworth comes up with a system that lets them both perform on the field at the same time this can set the team back.

      • Disagree they are very different players and together can be very effective in a 4-1-3-2/4-4-2.

      • Agreed, I don’t think that anyone is really hating on LeToux. It will definitely help having him back in the side, but he can’t be the focus of our attack like he was in 2010 if this team is going to go anywhere.

        I think that he and Jack will work well together because of the way that they both move without the ball effectively. If we get another forward who can serve more as a target player who can hold the ball up under pressure and finish most of his chances, the team will be much better in ’13.

  4. Perhaps not so much Seba hate as fools yearning for a messiah and simplicity. The deal improves the team, but no striker(s) in the world can carry a team that lacks balance and synergy. Heart, speed, great runs, positioning and shooting will not offset a lack of well-timed passing and attacking support from the whole team. I don’t remember much of that happening last year. If Seba and Jack can focus on their third, play in tandem with each other and the mids there, oh baby we got one hell of an attack.

  5. What?!?!?! We gave up Josue Martinez?!?!!?!?!?!?!?

    (this comment brough to you by sarcasm)

  6. Now, about Danny Califf…

    • Past his prime, would not improve team…he’s got 2012 Albright written all over him. Should only return in a coaches role.

  7. Zach mentioned they want to be ‘one of the best teams in the league'; not with players like Letoux. They will be mediocre. Don’t get me wrong; love to see him back and I will welcome him but we need more firepower.
    /
    Clint was on fire but he only had an assist. He was instrumental in the goal but his header hit the crossbar, then hit the goalies back, and then went into the goal. Was an ‘own-goal’. Wish I had seen that game in the Crossbar in Havertown!

  8. Yeah, so LeToux ain’t Clint Dempsey. So what? There’s more to it than just stats. There are intangibles that must be considered too.

    The Union forwards are really just a bunch of kids. Some veteran leadership should be beneficial along with the added height (Union Jack probably could have had a few more goals if he was a little taller). I don’t see the addition of LeToux stunting the growth of our young forwards. Just the opposite.

  9. Wow, Dempsey made the switch to Women’s Soccer, huh? :)

    He also had a fantastic assist on Adebayor’s goal.

  10. I have no problem bringing him back, but I feel it’s a PR move more than an on-field move. He’s not the best player available for us to acquire, though he does improve the currently existing team. This means that Hackworth HAS to play a 2-striker formation as Le Toux can/has only scored when deployed as a striker. That may negatively affect the rest of the lineup, as we don’t have a true CAM right now, and no one really took over the winger role last season.
    Either way it’s just REALLY nice to be on the better end of a deal for once (see: Jorge Perlaza).

    • Yeah, it might be a PR move more than anything else. Le Toux is already calling people to sell season tickets. We’ll see where they are taking the team. I am hoping for another striker and attacking midfielder at least and if the budget allows.

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