Le Toux-dles??? Seba Trials With Bolton

If Philadelphia Union fans had expected 2012 to be a simple year of growth, they may have another thing coming.
Or a major cog going.
Yesterday, Ives Galarcep broke a surprising story about the potential sale of Sebastien Le Toux to a European club. Given that the versatile Frenchman tweeted the night before about being on a flight to England, the rumor became much more reasonable to believe. Earlier today, Bolton manager Owen Coyle confirmed the Le Toux was a trialist with the club for the next week. It should be mentioned that, from Coyle’s own words, the prospects of this becoming a permanent transfer seemed less of a certainty as the initial reports from the Fox Soccer columnist.
The last two weeks have been a little hairy for the Union. Galarcep reported prior to the SuperDraft that the Zolos were shopping Danny Mwanga, the first SuperDraft pick of the Union’s existence. The trouble with Mwanga is that he came off of the Adidas payroll for 2012, and his full wages should be greater than $230,000 against the Union salary cap. Mwanga’s production dropped in 2011. This lent credence to the notion that Mwanga could be headed out.
When John Hackworth dispelled those rumors, everyone thought that the Union would pick defensive depth early in the draft. Instead, they took the best player on the board, Chandler Hoffman from UCLA – a forward. That brought the total up top to 5 strikers, once you count former Saprissa striker Josue Martinez and candidate for the U23 Olympic Team Jack McInerney. It’s a crowded house up front, and something was bound to give.
That seems to be Le Toux. There is one major problem. Walk through the parking lot at PPL Park, and the jersey you see most is the #9. The man has been an enigma; a player who left the second division of France to come to America to play in Major League Soccer. His efforts to find top-division work failed, so Le Toux signed with USL First Division club Seattle Sounders FC. He had some great moments in the lower league, earning the league MVP in 2007. Once Seattle entered MLS however, he struggled to find goals.
When the Sounders left Le Toux unprotected in the 2009 Expansion Draft, the Union selected him fourth. It would be tough to believe that two years later, Le Toux would be the beloved starlet of the squad. That’s what happens when a guy works his tail off in the city of Philadelphia. “Seba,” as he’s known,” would hassle opposing defenders and goalkeepers as they tried to launch their attack. He’d bust down the wing to chase a long ball, then cut back and try to find a teammate breaking towards the goal. He’d play as a full back if the team needed a goal, so more attackers could enter the formation. Le Toux wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. Plus, especially in the inaugural season for Philadelphia, he was the guy most likely to get the crowd, “Dooping.”
That would explain why he’s wanted by Bolton. The Trotters are in a rough place, second to last in the Premier League table. Last season, they were successful in a two-pronged attack. Target forward Kevin Davies and smooth striker Johan Elmander put Bolton in the top half for much of the season. When Elmander cooled off, Daniel Sturridge came in on loan from Chelsea and provided an added burst. They are now without both Elmander and Sturridge, and perhaps Coyle sees Le Toux as a similar deceptively fast striker (and more importantly, finisher) as those players.
What about the Union? You don’t want to hamper a player like Le Toux in going to play in the best league in the world. Certainly they would need to pay Le Toux a steep wage to keep him in the US, and while he has been a popular player, there are no indications that the Union can afford to pay that kind of salary. This would solve two problems: 1) it reduces the logjam at the forward position, and 2) it frees up the money from Le Toux’s salary under the cap to give Mwanga more time to develop. Additionally, Bolton should offer a good transfer fee, which could allow Philadelphia to bring in another big name to draw fans.
But before we get too far ahead, it’s only a trial. Until he signs a contract to be paid in British pounds, he’s still Philadelphia’s top player. It will be tough for Union fans to see him go, but Le Toux deserves his shot to prove he can do in Bolton as he did in Philadelphia.

17 thoughts on “Le Toux-dles??? Seba Trials With Bolton”

  1. MLS just better make sure with all the interest in their players
    that they are being compensated. LeToux is a heck of a player.
    Anyone in Seattle ( except Sigi of course ) and Philly knows he can
    play. The fact that Bolton plays in a league with some very good
    teams, doesn’t mean MLS should give him away. Same with Shea,
    Rogers, and the many other that are getting interest. It is a
    balancing act, the good players that can make a bigger paycheck
    will want to start in a league where they CAN move on, that doesn’t
    apply to very many however……….My inflamatory comment. It is
    amazing it has taken the teams living off the big clubs incomes
    this long to realize there are good players in MLS who don’t get
    paid that much. Do they don’t watch other leagues ? Seriously ?
    Next thing you know they are going to realize that college is
    producing some seriously good talent.

    1. Although, Charles, it is a balancing act. You don’t want to be
      known as a league that doesn’t let players move up or players will
      view it as a trap. _________________ I think even you realize that
      most college players are no way near ready to play in England’s
      lower leagues, and many never will be; but the other issue is work
      permits. Countries, rightly or wrongly, have rules in place to
      promote their homegrown talent.

      1. “Although, Charles, it is a balancing act. You don’t want to be
        known as a league that doesn’t let players move u or players will
        view it as a trap.” Shuler from UNC. He went to Swedish D2 for
        *similar* money b/c GA contract is 5 years at MLS’ discretion. he’d
        be 26/27 before free agency and he knows MLS turns down transfers
        regularly (Cooper, Twellmann). @theakinet

        1. If they werent missing a once in a while they would be too high in
          their offers. MLS is doing a fantastic job in getting the players
          we all want to watch.

          1. Of course, if the clubs were competing with one another for
            players, instead of the league as an entity bidding for players,
            things would be different, and US players would end up in the
            Swedish second division. But, the single entity structure was a
            good way to start a league, and hopefully the MLS will slowly grow
            out of it.

          2. “MLS is doing a fantastic job in getting the players we all want to
            watch.” Which, of course, explains why so many people are watching.
            Don’t doubt me, people.

    2. Charles, you have to read ESPN’s article about the Generation
      Adidas contracts they toss at college players. Contracts top out at
      5 years, which is way too long for a young player who would
      eventually like to move on to Europe.

      1. And yet almost all that are offered sign ? Because they are good
        offers. It was too long for Schuler and he took less to go
        elsewhere……Joe Corona !

  2. Well thats the thing, MLS has been there for those players with
    very large contracts for the better ones………………… That
    is not going to stop, it is going to get better ( bigger contracts,
    better deals for players ). Chicago signed a deal worth their total
    team salaries for their shirt deal. Toronto sold 35,000 tickets for
    a game a month and a half away, Sounders should do the same for
    their CCL game…….I don’t think that MLS should worry about the
    balance very much at all. Where was England when LeToux was winning
    championships in Seattle ? No where.

  3. “I don’t think that MLS should worry about the balance very much at
    all.” Please tell that to Kraft and the other ultra-conservatives!
    $5M cap with a rollover clause for unused money (combined with 100%
    DP/USMNT/CANMNT excemption) would move MLS forward…And get rid of
    non salary cap restrictions!

  4. Despite it being a huge loss, he deserves to move on if that is
    what he wants. Le Toux, as you mentioned, has worked his ass off
    for Philly in every match. Good luck to him if he goes. He is the
    most popular player at Philly, however, the old cliche of the squad
    being more important than any player applies here. Maybe we can get
    some decent money – buy a few young players, or purchase current
    loanees like Roger Torres.

  5. Man, and we thought NY lost a lot. He doesn’t know what losing is
    until he joins Bolton 15 loses out of 22 games. GD of -19……wow
    that is brutal. I wonder what the premium cost to the team to have
    a player join a is ? For instance, Everton has only lost 10 times,
    Liverpool 5, Man City 2. For the same player, what is the pay
    difference ? Not like Bolton and the other two play in the same
    league, but how much less does Everton offer him ? Couple hundred
    thousand a year less ?

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