If Sebastien Le Toux makes an appearance at PPL Park this summer for his second MLS All-Star Game, he won't be representing the home team. He'll be doing it as a member of the Vancouver Whitecaps.
The Philadelphia Union officially announced that they have dealt Le Toux to the Whitecaps, acquiring an undisclosed sum of allocation money in exchange for its leading scorer and 2010 MLS All-Star.
"While this decision wasn't easy, we are confident that the allocation money we receive will provide the flexibility for us to compile the best possible roster for 2012 and beyond," Union manager Peter Nowak said in a team statement.
Le Toux is entering the final year of his contract, and instead of losing him for nothing at the end of the season, the Union elected to cash in their chips with a calculated risk. With Le Toux out of the picture, the club will be relying on the likes of new signing Josue Martinez, Freddy Adu, Danny Mwanga, U.S. youth international Jack McInerney and rookie Chandler Hoffman to guide the club's attack. The rumored signing of Colombian forward Lionard Pajoy would also ease the loss of Le Toux, while the club eyes the present and future with the money received in the trade.
Earlier on Tuesday, Le Toux had confirmed via his personal Twitter account what previous reports had stipulated, tweeting, "Just got traded to Vancouver ! Saddest day for me in my Philadelphia Union story…. Still can't believe it."
His arrival in Vancouver will add more spice to the Cascadia Cup rivalry, as he'll take on the Seattle Sounders, his former club, three times this season. He also adds another piece of firepower to the club's crowded arsenal of attacking players. In addition to Le Toux, the club currently employs Designated Player Eric Hassli, 12-goal scorer Camilo, reigning NASL Golden Boot winner Etienne Barbara, first-round SuperDraft pick Darren Mattocks and last year's first overall SuperDraft pick Omar Salgado in addition to Atiba Harris and Long Tan.
There would seem to be future transactions coming down the road for Vancouver, considering the team's logjam in the attack. Le Toux can fit in either up top or out on the wing, both of which were roles that he played with the Union.
"(Le Toux) is a durable, fit, and speedy attacker, who is capable of playing either up front or wide in midfield," Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie said in a team release. We're delighted to bring Sebastien back to the Pacific Northwest and add another quality player to our squad."
Le Toux scored 25 goals and assisted on 20 others over the last two seasons after being selected in the 2009 expansion draft from the Sounders. He was the last member of that expansion draft class to linger on the Union's roster. Oddly enough, three players from that draft — Le Toux, Jordan Harvey and Brad Knighton — are now with Vancouver.
Le Toux's first match against the Union comes on March 31, when the Whitecaps visit PPL Park.
What do you make of the deal, now that it is official? What do you expect the Whitecaps to do with all of those forwards? Whom do you think they should deal? Do you think Philadelphia's gamble will pay off?
Share your thoughts below.