December 6, 2012
GETTING HIS WISH
Red Bulls trade Le Toux to Union for Costa Rican forward Martinez
By Michael Lewis
|Sebastien Le Toux was a bust during his short Red Bulls tenure.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Sebastien Le Toux got his wish. He is returning to the city of brotherly love where he had his greatest MLS moments.
Whether the Red Bulls got something of value in return for the midfielder-forward, it remains to be seen.
The Red Bulls dealt Le Toux to the Philadelphia Union on Thursday for Costa Rican forward Josué Martinez and allocation money.
New York acquired Le Toux in a mid-season trade, sending Jamaican midfielder Dane Richard to the Vancouver Whitecaps. After a promising start, Le Toux turned into a bust for New York, registering a goal and an assist in nine starts over 14 games.
Like it or not, but Le Toux might be better remembered by Red Bulls fans as a doppelganger for striker Kenny Cooper, who reportedly is being shopped around by New York.
Le Toux returns to the Union, where he starred during the 2010 and 2011 Major League Soccer seasons. He was out of contract after this past season. He had an interest in going overseas, but decided to stay in the United States when the trade to Philadelphia became reality.
"Sebastien indicated to us at the end of the season that he wanted to return to Philadelphia and we respected his request," Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh said in statement. "We want to thank him for his service to the Red Bulls club and wish him the best of luck in the future.”
How big a deal is Le Toux returning to Philly? The team will hold a press conference for him on Friday.
“We are happy to welcome Sebastien back to the club,” Union manager John Hackworth said in a statement. “His determination and heart are a perfect fit for the mentality of this team.”
The 28-year-old Le Toux was acquired by the Union as the fourth overall pick from Seattle Sounders FC in the 2009 MLS expansion draft. In his two seasons with the Union, Le Toux led Philadelphia in goals in back-to-back seasons, and was instrumental in the club’s 2011 playoff run. In 62 appearances (28 in 2010; 34 in 2011), Le Toux became the Union’s all-time leading goalscorer with 25 goals and 20 assists.
"In our hearts Sebastien has always been a Union player and his contributions on the field and in the community while he was in Philadelphia were invaluable. We are thrilled to welcome him back and look forward to having him rejoin the club,” said CEO & operating partner Nick Sakiewicz said.
Martinez, 22, who has seen time with the Ticos' National Team, did very little with the Union as he scored one goal in 18 games and six starts last season.
“We are excited to bring Josué to the Red Bulls. Our staff considers him a young player with potential," Roxburgh said in a statement. "In addition, the allocation money we received will provide us some financial flexibility.
The Union signed Martinez from Deportivo Saprissa (Costa Rica), on Dec. 7, 2011. That season Martinez played 18 games and scored six goals. A year prior, Martinez helped Saprissa win the Costa Rican First Division Clausura. Martinez started his career in 2009 with Saprissa and appeared in a total of 66 matches over three seasons, notching 19 goals.
Martinez has earned 16 caps for Costa Rica and scored two goals. He was also part of the Costa Rican 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup squad that finished fourth.