Kick Off: Could Le Toux be on his way to Vancouver?

Kick Off - Sebastien Le Toux

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Is it adieu, Le Toux?

While the departure of Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Faryd Mondragón to his native Colombia may have come as a surprise yesterday, the real shock move of the Union offseason could be Sébastien Le Toux being traded to the Vancouver Whitecaps, a move which is reported here.

To complement the first report out of England revealing the Whitecaps’ interest, there was also this tweet by a Vancouver-based reporter, who even indicated when Le Toux would be joining camp.

Inside the Philadelphia Daily News article are two interesting tidbits that will catch the eye of Union faithful: Could Mondragón’s exit release enough money to sign Roger Torres on a permanent basis? Also, sources tell the same outlet that apparently it was Le Toux himself who cut his Bolton trial short.

This article about Mondragon’s departure in the Delco Times stands out because it includes comments from Le Toux, who had not been heard from since the Bolton trial but chose to speak about the exit of the club captain.

The Houston Dynamo’s loss was the Portland Timbers’ gain when it came to Scottish striker Kris Boyd, who became Portland's third Designated Player. Timbers manager John Spencer calls him a “natural-born finisher,” while owner Merritt Paulson referred to him as a “seven-figure kind of guy.”

Paulson went into a lot more detail regarding Boyd, José Adolfo Valencia and other signings in Monday’s edition of ExtraTime Radio. Listen here.

The Dynamo, who wined and dined Boyd to convince him to move to Houston, did make out with Portland’s second pick in the first round of the 2013 SuperDraft. Houston manager Dominic Kinnear breaks down the day’s events on the Dynamo All-Access Radio Show (listen here).

Another experienced British striker, Bolton’s Kevin Davies, was reported to be close to an MLS club but Wanderers have stepped up and look to be close to keeping him.

In a similar boat as Davies is Juventus fullback Fabio Grosso, who Italian daily Tuttosport first linked with a move to the USA.

The Montreal Impact have confirmed their interest in ex-German international Michael Ballack, but Impact sporting director Nick De Santis says that any potential move wouldn’t be made until the July international window.

Two signings that came as a surprise to no one yesterday were Miguel Aceval joining Toronto FC and Wilman Conde officially being acquired by the New York Red Bulls. Both South American defenders were long rumored to be arriving.

That’s some upgrade for the New York Red Bulls. They go from having a $3 million national team defender in Tim Ream to “the best center back in the league,” which is what Hans Backe considers Conde. “Physical, phenomenal left foot, good in the air, tackles, good understanding of the game, experienced. I think that is absolutely a player that has almost everything,” Backe told the New York Post.

We told you about 31-year-old Swedish midfielder Tobias Grahn yesterday and the interest from MLS clubs in his services after a falling out with his club team in Sweden. A report this morning claims that the Red Bulls have the inside track for his services. (SWEDISH)

Because we want to get another Bolton Wanderers mention in here, it’s worth pointing out that manager Owen Coyle said it will be “tight” for Ream to get back in time for tomorrow’s EPL match against Arsenal.

Ex-Crew winger Robbie Rogers will be named to the Leeds United squad for tonight’s match against Jonathan Spector’s Birmingham City, but Leeds’ manager confesses that a trip to the US to sort out visa issues might prevent him from starting: “Tonight might come just too soon for him.”

This BBC preview of tonight’s Ipswich vs. West Ham English second-tier match indicates that “American George John could make his debut.”

ESPN commentator Ian Darke makes the case that Fulham’s American star Clint Dempsey could be a great fit at Manchester United and he even points out the transfer fee that he feels is needed to get the deal done.

We were all hoodwinked. The Portuguese club that Arturo Alvarez signed for is Paços de Ferreira and not Rio Ave as had been previously erroneously reported in El Salvador. This article straight out of Portugal says he’s on a four-month contract with the club holding an option to retain his services. (PORTUGUESE)

Frenchman Nicolas Dieuze will not be joining Chivas USA, with the former Ligue 1 player claiming that the coach [Robin Fraser] wanted to keep him but management wanted South Americans instead. (FRENCH)

Not many players point him out as a model for their game, but new Vancouver Whitecaps defensive midfielder Jun Marques Davidson says he styles his game after Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets: “That's what I'm aiming for — to keep the position and be really smooth on the ball left to right.”

It’s going to be slow going for Columbus Crew rookie Ben Speas, who will not join the team for its preseason trip to Florida in order to visit a doctor to get a nagging abdominal injury examined.

Speas might have time to catch up with one of the three English Premier League matches on TV in the USA: Everton vs. Manchester City (3 pm ET, Fox Soccer and Fox Deportes), Wolverhampton vs. Liverpool (2:30 pm ET, Fox Soccer Plus) and Manchester United vs. Stoke City (3 pm ET, ESPN Deportes).

Then there’s also a Copa Libertadores doubleheader later tonight on Fox Deportes beginning at 6 pm ET with the match between Libertad (Paraguay) and El Nacional (Ecuador) followed by Sport Huancayo (Peru) vs. Arsenal FC (Argentina).

Veteran soccer writer Beau Dure, who has closely followed the story of the legal wrangling between WPS and magicJack owner Dan Borislow, explains the legal details that have paralyzed the league into the cancellation of the 2012 season. They’ll be back in court on Wednesday.

You might find it hard to believe that there is a WPS owner that is still willing to face magicJack and Borislow on the field: "If we are playing and Dan has a team and there is a way a game could be played, then we'd be happy to do so," Breakers co-owner Michael Stoller told Dure and ESPNW.

Meanwhile, USSF president Sunil Gulati revealed that the US women’s national team will be “increasing our programming in the next six months” to prepare for the summer Olympics in the absence of a women’s league.

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

Chicago’s Patrick Nyarko interested in playing for the US national team

The Sideline: A ballad for Tim Ream

Whatever Happened To: “El Tanque” Eduardo Hurtado?


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