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.