Kick Off: Le Toux doesn't hold back following trade

Now that he was traded to the Vancouver Whitecaps, Sebastién Le Toux decided to hold nothing back.

In a revealing story reported by Christopher Vito, Le Toux talks about being “pushed” by the Philadelphia Union to train with Bolton Wanderers and when he left England three weeks early, he gives the details of a high-tension exchange with Union manager Peter Nowak. “I would be happy to just retire than play for Peter again,” Le Toux says.

The Frenchman didn’t back down from those statements during a conference call with reporters in which he characterized the Bolton Wanderers stint as “just to visit. It was not really a tryout. … I wanted to stay playing in the US.”

It turns out the Vancouver Whitecaps tried to land Le Toux during the middle of last season but their bid proved unsuccessful.

Le Toux has already delivered a not-so-subtle hint to his new manager Martin Rennie about the position he prefers to play: “Vancouver hasn’t told me the position they want me to play, but I like to play forward,” says Le Toux.

Read about the Le Toux story that will stick most with Philadelphia Daily News Union beat writer Kerith Gabriel: It has to do with those purple cleats that Nowak despised.

Turns out that Nowak might not be done making moves. There’s a report that midfielder Kyle Nakazawa could be traded to the LA Galaxy.

While one forward departed his home in Philadelphia, another looks to be on his way home. US World Cup striker Edson Buddle is reportedly heading back to MLS after being released by German side Ingolstadt. The LA Galaxy have first dibs.

Then again, this Italian report claims that Buddle is caught between the LA Galaxy and signing with SS Lazio in the Italian Serie A. Since he was released from his contract, Buddle is still free to sign anywhere in Europe. (ITALIAN)

The transfer window was a quiet one as far as American players and MLS clubs are involved. In addition to the Buddle move, Mix Diskerud is now on loan to Belgian side Gent and former D.C. United defender Ryan Nelsen was signed by Tottenham Hotspur.

Jack Bell of The New York Times reports that the New York Red Bulls are not interested in Michael Ballack but have their sights set on Stephen Ireland instead.

In the meantime, there is news that Luke Rodgers has gotten his visa worked out and will be joining the squad in Mexico.

Don’t read too much into the fact that Ballack missed Bayer Leverkusen training on Tuesday. The club’s manager says it was a predetermined day off.

In other international player news, the Montreal Impact have been linked to goalkeeper Johnny Leoni, who has left FC Zürich to join Cypriot club Omonia Nicosia. (FRENCH)

In preseason action today, the San Jose Earthquakes will be taking on FC Tucson at 1 pm ET in Arizona.

The Seattle Sounders will reportedly play Mexican side Atlante in Cancún in preparation for their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series against Santos Laguna.

Former Sounder Erik Friberg clearly returned to Sweden with pleasant memories of MLS. This is what he says in this interview with a Swedish outlet: “I think the top teams in the MLS can almost be better than the top teams in Sweden.” (SWEDISH)

The Timbers players may be seeing more of the ball during preseason camp in Portland but manager John Spencer is not trying to fool anyone: “It's a little bit of disguised running. Everything is based toward fitness levels.”

Spencer’s former teammate at the Colorado Rapids, Paul Bravo, is reportedly getting a three-year contract extension from the club. That comes on the heels of yesterday’s hiring of the club’s two assistant coaches who join Oscar Pareja’s staff.

One player who’s having an especially tough time in preseason is the Houston Dynamo’s Luiz Camargo: "I'm very tired. I went a month without working out, and I'm very tired."

LA Galaxy captain Landon Donovan was the protagonist in the most important match in European soccer yesterday as Everton dealt English Premier League leaders Manchester City a costly 1-0 defeat. The game-winner was assisted by LD himself. Watch it here. (VIDEO)

There’s more midweek EPL action coming your way today. We’ll see if ex-Red Bulls defender Tim Ream makes his debut with Bolton when they host Arsenal (3 p.m ET, Fox Soccer, Fox Deportes). You figure American star Clint Dempsey will get the start again as Fulham welcome West Brom (3 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Plus).

Barcelona fans won’t want to miss the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinal at Valencia (3 p.m. ET, ESPN Deportes) and there’s also a Serie A match between Atalanta and Genoa (noon ET, Fox Soccer Plus and Fox Deportes). But if you want real drama, tune in to the Copa Libertadores second leg match between Brazilian side Flamengo and Bolivians Real Potosí. Ronaldinho and Flamengo are playing under pressure, needing a win to advance to the group stage (7 p.m. ET, Fox Deportes).

LA Galaxy fans, you’re not alone. There’s also a controversy among Tigres UANL fans in Mexico about the latest championship star not appearing in the club’s logo for 2012. Adidas explains that it’s the company’s practice for all teams. Meanwhile, that new Tigres logo is some piece of work: “God willing and as long as Tigres exists, I believe that this will be the logo now and always,” says the Tigres president. (PHOTO)

Staying in Mexico, Chivas Guadalajara took their annual team photo and were poetic with their theme: “Chivas, the heart of Mexico.” They used academy players to make up the rest of the country. (PHOTO)

We wrap it up with video of the man who handcuffed himself to a goal post during the Everton vs. Manchester City match on Tuesday night. He was protesting against Ryanair, after the airline allegedly refused to give his daughter a job. (VIDEO)

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

Nowak explains why Union let go of Sebastién Le Toux, Faryd Mondragon

The Sideline: Hoping Renken has a happy landing in Portland

Donovan shows deft touch again in victory against Manchester City


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