Home MLS Vancouver Whitecaps Le Toux’s disappointing time with Whitecaps comes to an end

Le Toux’s disappointing time with Whitecaps comes to an end

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Sebastien Le Toux — a “superstar,” by MLS standards, played in 18 MLS matches for the Vancouver Whitecaps, and scored four times. Rookie Darren Mattock has appeared in half as many matches as Le Toux, and scored six goals.

On Friday night, the failed experiment to marry Le Toux — one of MLS’ top scorers over the past three seasons — into the Whitecaps lineup came to an end. The French forward was traded to the New York Red Bulls, who already have Kenny Cooper and Thierry Henry up front, in exchange for midfielder Dane Richards and allocation money.

The speedy Richards scored 21 times and added 26 assists over five-plus seasons in New York. With Chiumiento gone, and Le Toux not scoring at the pace fans would have expected when he was acquired in the preseason from the Philadelphia Union, this deal might work out very well for the Whitecaps. Richards added a dimension to the Red Bulls attack with his runs from midfield, and players with that kind of raw athletic ability can be an asset.

“Richards is a speedy player and very dangerous down the wing. He brings plenty of MLS and international experience to our club, so we’re delighted to have him in Vancouver,” said Whitecaps head coach Martin Rennie in a release issued by the club. “We would also like to thank Sebastien for all of his contributions to the club and wish him the best of luck in New York.”

Add to that the fact that Richards and Mattocks are likely to be Jamaican national-teammates soon, and the deal has a nice sort of synchronicity for the Whitecaps.

Richards makes US$181,500, while Le Toux makes US$169,000.

At the start of the season, we wondered if DP Eric Hassli could co-exist in attack with his countryman, Le Toux. We wondered if Camilo could exist in the same midfield with Davide Chiumiento. We wondered how Barry Robson would fit into the attack when he arrived in July.

Now, with the trade of Le Toux, and Chiumiento’s transfer to FC Zurich earlier this week, we have some answers. But the X factor in all of this has been Mattocks. When he was drafted second overall in the 2012 SuperDraft, he was thought to be the apprentice to the likes of Le Toux and Hassli. When he received serious burns in a kitchen accident, Mattocks’ chance to impress his coach and fans was delayed.

But, in the last month, he’s become option No. 1 for the Whitecaps. And, by adding Richards, the Whitecaps give Mattocks a speedy playmaker. They give him a fellow Jamaican, the kind of intangible that is often underrated.

Le Toux was underwhelming in his time in Vancouver. Now, he’ll be part of a team where he’ll have to fight for a place in the lineup.

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