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Countdown to First Kick: 26 Le Toux's new home

As First Kick, presented by Dick's Sporting Goods approaches, MLSsoccer.com is marking each passing day with a different statistic, observation or talking point, setting the stage for the beginning of the 2012 MLS campaign.

26 – career MLS goals by Vancouver Whitecaps forward Sébastien Le Toux

Go ahead and read that again just for good measure: Vancouver Whitecaps forward Sébastien Le Toux.

Just two weeks after Le Toux's not-so-cordial departure from the Philadelphia Union, the French striker is already busy preparing to build on back-to-back Best XI-worthy seasons at PPL Park.

After two years spent bearing the brunt of the scoring load for Peter Nowak in the attacking third – and delivering, it should be said, with 25 goals and 20 assists – Le Toux will be part of a Whitecaps squad with no shortage of attacking options.

The biggest questions now are where exactly will he play and can he come close to matching his production in 2010 and 2011?

In the past, Le Toux has been quick to point out that he prefers playing up top as an out-and-out striker. That may not happen all the time in Vancouver, as Eric Hassli won't be easy to displace at the top of the formation. Complicating things even further is the fact that Le Toux certainly has the capabilities to excel in wide positions, leaving Vancouver manager Martin Rennie with some tantalizing options, especially considering the 'Caps look set to transition to something resembling a 4-3-3 and livewire Brazilian winger Camilo has been re-signed.

Either way, though, Le Toux's ability to adapt to his new home will be watched closely in 2012. If he can find the same form that allowed him to thrive in Philadelphia, Vancouver could have the most potent attack in the league. On the flip side, how will Nowak and the Union fare without their talisman?

We'll just have to wait to find out.

Vancouver will open the 2012 season at BC Place on March 10 against MLS newcomers Montreal Impact. GET TICKETS!  

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