(Please be aware this isn't any kind of scoop, rumour, or even wild speculation that TFC actually are trying to trade for Le Toux, merely a bit of thinking out loud suggesting Le Toux as someone who might be worth looking into, so don't be saying "Waking the Red says TFC are after Le Toux!" cos that's not what we're saying here at all. Cheers. - Ed)
Could the answer to Toronto FC’s midfield issues lie in the city of brotherly love? Out of favour midfielder Sebastien Le Toux has been in John Hackworth’s dog house for quite some time and Toronto could provide the Frenchman with a welcomed change of scenery.
Le Toux started out the season as an unquestioned starter in the Philadelphia midfield but since the Union’s 2-1 loss in New York on April 16th, Le Toux has been on the field at the opening whistle just once in 7 games, a long time to leave a player like Le Toux on the bench. His lone start since then was May 3rd away to Seattle and in all seven of those games Le Toux has only featured for 170 minutes.
Keeping Le Toux on the bench wouldn’t be noticed if not for Philadelphia’s form. The Union sit second to bottom in the Eastern Conference, only ahead of Montreal, even though they have played 14 games this season (in contrast Toronto FC have played just nine). Philadelphia isn’t losing nail biters or tight 1-0 games either, 4-1 this past weekend in Los Angeles and 5-3 to New England before that. The Union is a team that has been in need of scoring and yet leave a player capable of providing some offense off the field.
The move to acquire Collen Warner from the Montreal Impact in exchange for Issey Nakajima-Farran solidified the central midfield depth but opened up a hole out wide. Le Toux has the versatility to play both outside and in the striker position, though striker depth was improved with the addition of Luke Moore and helped by Roy Hodgson’s decision to leave Jermain Defoe off the World Cup roster. Adding Le Toux would allow Jonathan Osorio to move back into the middle where he is more effective and have Kyle Bekker move to the bench.
Rumours of reinforcements to the wide midfield positions have been running for some time. Toronto, holding the number one spot in the allocation order for returning US internationals seemed to have the inside track on bringing Brek Shea back to MLS, however recently that well has dried up. The need to strengthen the squad in that area remains however.
Toronto FC have all of the pieces to make a deal with Philadelphia. With one open international spot at the moment adding the Frenchman wouldn’t pose an issue there. The next hurdle would be salary and at a quarter million Le Toux doesn’t come cheap, but all signs are pointing to Julio Cesar not returning after the World Cup ends, and that would open up a lot of cap space for a high profile/cap hit player. Lastly would be what Philadelphia would be looking for in return. Toronto have plenty of draft picks for the 2015 Superdraft, packaged with some MLS monopoly money and that may be enough for the Union.
Le Toux isn’t the same player he was when he scored 11 and 14 goals for the Union and then the Whitecaps but he can still provide quality on the ball, the ability to take dead balls and the odd goal from midfield. All qualities Toronto could use more of.