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Posted by on Nov 12, 2012 in MLS, New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union, Recent, Vancouver Whitecaps | 6 comments

To LeToux or not to LeToux?

I thought for sure I had written my last ever piece on Sebastien Le Toux when he was traded to Vancouver for allocation money during the offseason. Not that I don’t like Le Toux. He was the face of our franchise since the Union first took the pitch in 2010, and his hustle and work ethic made him an instant icon in Philadelphia not only among the Union faithful, but among “non-soccer people” as well. But I figured once he was gone, the most we’d hear about him was the one or two times a year we play the Whitecaps. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

Not only did Le Toux come back to PPL on March 31, but after his trade to Red Bulls we saw him twice more – once in North Jersey in July, and once again at PPL in October. And now as if two visits to PPL weren’t enough, there are lots of rumors swirling around about the Union possibly picking Le Toux back up.

I cannot stress enough how bad of an idea this is.

Let’s not forget that Le Toux didn’t leave Philadelphia on the best of terms. For whatever reason, he cut his trial with Bolton Wanderers short to return to the Union, only to be sent to Vancouver after a falling out with then manager Peter Nowak. Le Toux then trashed his former club in the press – mostly Nowak but also Nick Sakiewicz as well. While Nowak isn’t with the Union anymore, Sakiewicz is and I doubt he’s forgotten so easily how Le Toux made it seem like he (as well as Nowak) wanted him out:

“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, who spoke exclusively with the Daily Times. “I wanted to stay in Philly. I didn’t care about the money.”

What followed Le Toux’s pitch to Sakiewicz, who was unavailable for comment, wasn’t pretty. It was nowhere near as picturesque as any of the 25 goals he scored with the Union. - Chris Vito, Delco Times, January 31,2012

This doesn’t exactly paint Sakiewicz as the kind of guy Le Toux would want to have a working relationship with again. But let’s for the sake of argument say that we believe that Sakiewicz has forgiven and forgotten and that he and Le Toux  have patched things up. What would Sebastien Le Toux bring to the team?

Sure he still has the work ethic and speed, but Le Toux is also 6′ and 28 years old. We have plenty of guys with that. Jack McInerney. Antoine Hoppenot. Josue Martinez. Chandler Hoffman. All speed and hustle forwards who are 6′ or under, however these guys are much younger and much less expensive. Why on earth would we want a guy that is heading toward 30 who will likely demand a lot of money to return to the club that not only ran him out of town, but let his agent (Stefani Miglioranzi)’s contract expire basically ending his career? His nose for goal? Is it that much better than McInerney’s? I don’t believe so. Both are streaky scorers – remember Le Toux didn’t have a goal in the run of play in 2011 until the middle of August. Is the memory hole so deep that we’ve forgotten all the calls to bench him during the beginning of 2011?  Has anyone seen articles in the press this year where Le Toux is voicing his displeasure with his role at his current club? There is a reason he was with 3 teams in 2012, and it’s not because there’s some grand plan for him to return. Instead of prostrating before the Front Office to bring him back, we should be begging them not to.

Instead of trying to get Le Toux back, we should be focusing on bringing in a large, physical forward who would compliment the speed of McInerney or Hoppenot up front. We need to concentrate on moving on, just as Le Toux and Miglioranzi have moved on from their time here with us.

You disagree with Eugene on this? Read Nick’s side: To LeToux or not to LeToux: Take Two

6 Comments

  1. I would sign him. He is a proven goal scorer and would be the big forward they need to pair with Jac Mac. Nowak was the reason for LeToux for going off like that. LeToux wants to come back, so I say lets sign him. They just need a veteran number 10. Otherwise the team has the right pieces to compete, just need some more proven talent.

    • The problem is that LeToux isn’t a target man and doesn’t hold the ball up well allowing Jack to run off of him. On the other hand a mobile front of LeToux, Cruz and Jack with Farfan and a playmaker (Adu or Torres) behind them may work as well to really try defenses and open space.

      I rue the decision not to stump up for Kenny Cooper when he could have been had tho. A big guy up front gives the Union options and perhaps the plan B they lacked this year.

      Its a complicated decision, but if he is willing to come back for a reasonable salary, why not?

  2. Beautifully written article, i couldn’t have said it better myself. LeToux isn’t the answer. Jack Mac has a better goal/90minute ratio and isn’t a penalty taker. Thanks for getting us started Seba, but lets look to improve instead of going backwards.

  3. Why would we want a forward who is going on thirty? Well, because he can create instead of wait around for a through ball. He can take free kicks, he can settle off the long pass, shoot from long range, run tirelessly for 90 minutes all with have a great attitude on the pitch. He loves the city and the fans. He can play in the middle or off the wing, and actually has some skill with the ball in tight spots unike the young forwards that we have now. Why do you need a huge physical forward? McInernry and Hoppenot are not really that fast, you should bring in someone who can push teh pace of the game and that is Le Toux

  4. The Union averaged 1.29 goals per game in 2011. In 2012, 1.08 goals per game. They won 3(!) of their last 15 matches.

    You mean to tell me there isn’t room on this band of smurf all stars for a little more offensive firepower? Le Toux’s expensive? He’s ending a contract that paid him $175K. We give Adu 3 times that to not score goals. What do you think Jack will cost as his Gen Adidas status will certainly end?

    Sign Le Toux, let him pair with Jack and teach him how to not give up on a play. AND sign another striker, preferably one with some height and experience who is old enough to vote,etc etc.

    • I gotta agree with scottymac on this one. If the price is reasonable and there is mutual interest it would be good for the club. The argument about the relationship with Nick is weak. He didn’t say (or mean) anything beyond what is normally said when a coach does something stupid that is backed up by management. Everyone knows booting Le Toux was Nowak’s decision, not Nick’s.

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