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Posted by on Nov 13, 2012 in MLS, New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union, Recent, Vancouver Whitecaps | 0 comments

To LeToux or not to LeToux? Take Two

Rumors swirled during the last match of Union’s 2012 season, when Sebastien LeToux returned to PPL Park as a member of RBNY.  He is not a first-choice selection for his current club and is out of contract as soon as the Red Bulls continue their streak of consecutive years without winning a Cup.  In response to Eugene Rupinski’s impassioned plea against the reacquisition of Seba, I say that it’s not as bad of an idea as he thinks.

To preface this, I am not in favor of his return to Union.  I prefer, probably much like the Union front office, to seek out and develop younger, less expensive prospects.  That being said (or typed as it were), LeToux reclaiming his spot atop the Union’s first-choice formation is not the worst idea this front office has had.

I don’t care about what conditions Seba left under.  The bottom line was that he scored and created goals.  In his lesser productive season, 2011, he scored 11 and assisted on 9 others; 20 total goals he was involved in.  By comparison, the 2012 team leader was Jack McInerney with 11; 8 goals and 3 assists.  I know LeToux was dreadful at the beginning of that season, and he still put up better numbers than this past season’s leading scorer.  He’ll be good for this team as long as they don’t deploy him as a midfielder.  I’ll agree with Eugene that Seba is redundant for this team, in that he is another player, like McInerney, who relies on movement off the ball to get open.  LeToux coming back would retard Jack’s development by taking minutes away from him.  However, if Union return to a 4-3-3 formation, then I’m sure those two will get along just fine.

The Front Office is actually a part of the reason why it would be good to bring him back.  It was mentioned that Seba left here not in the good graces of the executives here, and that had a lot to do with the since-departed Peter Nowak.  We, the fans, have already expressed the opinion that the team needs a strong target forward to compliment the speed forwards currently on the roster.  I don’t believe in this Front Office’s ability to make that happen.  Josue Martinez is just an okay player.  Gabriel Gomez is in the same category.  I don’t trust them to get a player who can adjust to this league and be productive.  Seba had 25 goals and 20 assists in two seasons here.  I know he hasn’t done anything of consequence elsewhere, but that doesn’t matter because we’re talking about him on Union.  Maybe it’s something in the water here (actually, don’t analyze that, it’ll make you sick) or it’s the players here, but it works for him and it worked for the team.  The team could still field a somewhat normal lineup of players that LeToux played with.  The players who were new this past season and actually play (so, no, not you Porfirio, go sit back down on the bench) are Danny Cruz, Gabe Gomez, Mike Lahoud, Ray Gaddis, and Antoine Hoppenot.  Even so, Seba has played with at least half the lineup they could put out there.  It certainly is not a guarantee that he’ll immediately regain his best form again, but I like the odds of that a LOT better than that a new discovery will come in and do better.

Again, I’m not advocating that Nick Sakiewicz offer LeToux a contract.  My point is that if he were to rejoin the team, it’s not a bad move.  There will be no need to set up picket lines.  There will be a need, though, to set up some sort of contest between LeToux and Jack Mac to see who would get to wear number 9… maybe a decathlon of some sort… sprints, free kick accuracy (Seba loses that one hands down), juggling routines…

Read Part 1 of  To LeToux or not to LeToux.