Just hours after confirming their biggest-ever transfer, the Philadelphia Union have announced a massive trade. Club legend Sebastien Le Toux has been sent to the Colorado Rapids in exchange for General Allocation Money.
The deal clears up both salary cap and roster space, as Le Toux was being paid a starter's salary ($310,228.13) to serve as a backup. Whether this indicates that Alejandro Bedoya will line up on the right side is unclear, as starting right winger Ilsinho is under contract with the team through next season.
Le Toux's career with the Union began in late 2009, when the club acquired him in the MLS Expansion Draft. He scored the franchise's first - and, until recently, only - hat trick in the inaugural home opener, winning the hearts of the fans immediately. The city's love affair with Le Toux has been in full swing ever since, as he's recorded a club-high 50 goals and 50 assists dating back to 2010. Though he made brief stops in Vancouver and New York in 2012 due to the maniacal tendencies of a head coach who will not be named, his status as a Union folk hero never faltered.
He returned to the club in 2013 to much fanfare. Admittedly, he wasn't the MVP-candidate Sebastien Le Toux of old, but he still produced good numbers despite taking a smaller role with the club.
Just as the dark ages of 2012 did nothing to change Union fans' opinion of Le Toux, neither will this. No matter where he plays, he'll always be regarded as one of the most dedicated and successful players to pull on a Union jersey.
To help soften the blow, please enjoy all of Seba's goals from his 2010 MLS season, one of the best individual campaigns we will ever see from a Union player.