Kick Off: Rare comments by Union's French star cause stir

Kick Off - Sebastien Le Toux

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During his MLS career, Sébastien Le Toux has always been the quiet, tireless good soldier.

So it comes as somewhat of a surprise to read comments to Philadelphia media regarding the Union attack, his role on the field and his forgotten partnership with Danny Mwanga — comments which may have been voiced by observers but never by the Union's star.

The Frenchman says: “[The game in] Toronto showed what I can do with Danny. It’s one of our only games where we played together since last year. It’s what I want to bring, but it’s something for the coaches to decide. We are winning, so I suppose it is working.”

Le Toux also voiced his preference to play at forward over midfield: “Putting me as a midfielder, I don’t know. … I tell the coaches I’d like to be a forward, but it’s something I have to learn to do.”

The manager’s choices will also be second-guessed in Vancouver. Although the Whitecaps have significant ground to make up in the MLS Cup playoff race, it didn’t prevent head coach Tom Soehn from fielding a second-string lineup against Toronto FC on Wednesday night and watching his team lose 1-0. Watch the highlights here.

Soehn was resting players because the Whitecaps are focused on winning the Nutrilite Canadian Championship on Saturday, also against TFC: ”That’s the biggest game of our season,” said GK Jay Nolly.

One Toronto writer agreed that last night’s league match was an appetizer of the “amuse-bouche variety” ahead of Saturday’s NCC second leg at BMO Field. But it made for an overall great day for Toronto FC with the end of their nine-game winless streak coming on the heels of the announcement of two Designated Players which has goalkeeper Stefan Frei “very, very excited.”

Former German international Torsten Frings and ex-PSV Eindhoven super striker Danny Koevermans, who will not be able to don a TFC jersey until July 15, may not have watched the most thrilling of matches on Wednesday, according to their new manager Aron Winter: “The way how we played was not good but it’s important at this moment to get the points.”

The news of a major announcement in Toronto didn’t prevent one reputed media outlet from printing news that Winter was set to be sacked and replaced by his assistant. The Dutchman made light of this report during his press conference.

After Toronto FC’s big splash, the MLS midseason player moves are only just beginning, especially with the contract guarantee deadline of July 1 looming. Four clubs are preparing to make other transactions and on Wednesday cleared space on their respective roster. Here’s a recap of the moves.

News out of Honduras is that national team forward Carlo Costly does not figure in the plans of the new Atlas coach in Guadalajara, Mexico, and that the Houston Dynamo are in line to acquire his services. Meanwhile, another article claims that the LA Galaxy are also in the running. (SPANISH)

Sporting Kansas City Designated Player Omar Bravo can expect to wear that captain’s armband more often in the coming weeks. The regular captain, midfielder Davy Arnaud, will be shelved for up to six weeks with hernia surgery just when the club is making a push up the standings.

At the top of those standings are the LA Galaxy. Chat with their returning US national team star, Landon Donovan, who will be available to fans on ESPN.com beginning at 4 p.m. ET today.

Meanwhile, they continue to heap praise on LA Galaxy midfielder Mike Magee. The next dose comes from Alexi Lalas, who in his latest blog for the Daily Mirror says Magee was the author of a “heroic performance for the ages” and that keeping San Jose at bay for over a half was “the stuff of legend.”

The US national team’s 1994 World Cup performance was the stuff of legend. As the San Jose Earthquakes get set to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the event on Saturday, one writer compiles a “where are they now.” Find out who is a McDonald’s real estate manager and the other ex-player who is trying to break into golf.

While we celebrate the Americans’ past achievements, one American is scoring goals with another national team abroad. Find out which US national is scoring goals for the Philippines.

More American talent plying its trade abroad is featuring with Tigres UANL of Mexico. Five American youth internationals are in camp with the top-flight Mexican club — not including US national team left back Jonathan Bornstein.

Speaking of youth internationals, the US Under-17 national team plays a single elimination Round of 16 match against Germany this afternoon in World Cup play (4 p.m. ET, Galavision and ESPNU).

Ahead of their trip to the United States to play in the World Football Challenge and MLS All-Star Game, Manchester United announce their third summer signing. This one’s a goalkeeper from La Liga.

Lastly, another English club visiting the USA, Bolton Wanderers, are putting down roots in Bluegrass country in a partnership with a local Kentucky soccer club.

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

Armchair Analyst: Frings brings controversy with him to MLS

Climbing the Ladder: The chase for MLS goal No. 10,000

American helps Molde to top spot in Norwegian league


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