Whitecaps made first Le Toux offer halfway through 2011 season

Sebastien Le Toux

The seeds of the deal that brought Sebastien Le Toux to the Vancouver Whitecaps were sown halfway through the 2011 season.

Looking for more help up top, the Whitecaps contacted the Philadelphia Union, asking if the team would be willing to part with its prize striker. The offer was rebuffed.

But, when the time came for Philadelphia to talk deal, the Union knew the Whitecaps would still be interested.

“By expressing interest… we were one of the first calls that they made,” said Whitecaps’ President Bob Lenarduzzi during a conference call Tuesday.

The Whitecaps acquired Le Toux, who has produced 40 goals combined (goals and assists) for the Union over the last two seasons, on Tuesday in exchange for allocation funds.

Lenarduzzi said the Whitecaps remembered the forward well during his time as a Division-2 player with the then-USL rival Seattle Sounders.

“He scored a lot of goals against the Whitecaps,” said Lenarduzzi. “He scored a lot of goals in USL.

“His work rate, for a forward, is second to none. When his team loses the ball, he’s willing to put in the extra work to get it back.”

For Le Toux, the deal came quickly. He heard about the trade Tuesday morning — and, up to that moment, he fully expected to join the Union for the final year in his contract. Yes, Le Toux did go to Bolton Wanderers for a trial — but he never saw it as a serious possibility.

“It was just a visit, not really a tryout,” he said.

“It’s hard to leave a team, especially when you are committed 100 per cent,” he said of the Union. “But I am just going to be 100 per cent with Vancouver Whitecaps, to do my best to help the team win games.”

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About Steven Sandor

I'm currently the colour commentator for FC Edmonton broadcasts on Sportsnet, NASL.com and TEAM 1260. I've covered the Toronto FC beat for four years, worked for the Edmonton Aviators of the USL for a season, covered the Edmonton Drillers of the NPSL and started covering Canadian World Cup qualifiers in 1996. I've covered the CONCACAF Champions League and the U-20 World Cup. I'm passionate about soccer in North America.