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Le Toux in blue: Did Sounders make mistake?

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on May 31, 2010 at 10:23 pm with 5 Comments »
June 1, 2010 2:18 pm

Le Toux

Sebastien Le Toux recorded one goal and one assist in Philadelphia’s 3-2 win at Houston on Saturday. And so, within a span of 24 minutes, the former Seattle Sounder figured in as many goals as his ex-teammates have managed over their last six league games.

While the Sounders have scored nine goals this season, Le Toux alone has scored five.

And even though it smacks as a pure second guess, that raises an obvious question: Did the Sounders err in making Le Toux available in the expansion draft? (Here is the list of players Seattle protected instead: Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Leo Gonzalez, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni, Nate Jaqua, Kasey Keller, Freddie Ljungberg, Tyrone Marshall, Fredy Montero and Steve Zakuani.)

I asked general manager Adrian Hanauer today, and that’s the topic of our story in the Tuesday paper. However, here are Hanauer’s key comments:

“The thing is that we were going to be disappointed, and someone on our team was going to perform well in Philadelphia, no matter what. We had and continue to have a deep squad. There were other guys on the list that we had to leave unprotected that also could be performing extremely well in Philadelphia.”

Q: But doesn’t Le Toux’s loss stick out more because he is providing what the current club so clearly need: goals?

A: “I think it would be disingenuous to say we couldn’t use (five) goals and a couple of assists. That said, we certainly didn’t anticipate some of the injuries we’ve had. We anticipated maybe performing a little bit better with the group that we have now. We can’t as an organization dwell on that decision. But we’re happy for Sebastien. He’s a great guy, hard worker and I’m happy that he’s been successful. It says something, quite frankly, about our organization, too. Stephen King played for D.C. the other day in their win. It says something that we have quality players, quality individuals, in the organization. We’d love to hang onto all of them, but it’s just not in the cards.”

By the way, the Sounders will be facing the same problem — perhaps times two — in the coming off-season. With two expansion sides — Portland and Vancouver — coming into MLS, it is likely that four MLS teams will end up losing two players in the expansion draft: each team losing one player and four teams losing two to stock each club with 10 players. The expectation is that each existing club will once again protect 11 players.

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. When you look at the list we did protect it’s pretty hard to justify Le Toux over any of them at the time. We were looking fairly stacked at Forward/Midfield at the time. Still, he’s done so well it’s hard to not second-guess.

  2. ciscokid says:

    I was appalled but not at all surprised by the decision to leave Seba unprotected and I howled mightily about it at the time.

    I felt that Sigi was never a big fan of Le Toux and he never got a chance to play his natural position so he was constantly overlooked by many Seattle fans as unproductive.

    People who don’t know his background, don’t understand that Seba only started playing on the offensive side after spending his youth soccer years on the backline. He has a natural instinct for the ball, endless pace and energy and most importantly, tremendous upside as he continues to learn how to play up front.

    I think time will prove out that not protecting him was ultimately one of the biggest mistakes the Sounders made

    Bottom line: Seba may not play pretty but he is a goal scorer and he’s proving he belongs in the MLS with five goals in only 7 games I believe. I predicted he’d score 10 this season. I may have underestimated him myself.

    As to who I would have left unprotected…it would have been Reilly. I felt there was a better chance of Reilly not being selected and if he was, an easier player to replace.

  3. ciscokid says:

    Correction, not Reilly, Marshall.

    Between his age and cost, I didn’t think he would have been a player Philly wanted, and if they did, we could have replaced him with a younger player.

    Sorry James. Got confused. reilly is who I wanted Philly to select instead of Le Toux. My bad

  4. You’re right CK, Marshall was the only one there that I’d trade. The issue, I think, was lack of another solid option at CB whereas we had in theory, a lot of options at forward. And I would tend to agree. Le Toux didn’t get enough opportunity here. I wonder if it’s because he was signed before Sigi came on (if I remember the timing correctly.)

  5. wasobelle says:

    well i remain p.o.’d all their excuses not withstanding.

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