Sébastien Le Toux is happy to be back in the Pacific Northwest, even if it’s with a former rival in the Vancouver Whitecaps.
“I’m just going to be 100 percent now with the Vancouver Whitecaps and try to do my best to make them win games and make the fans proud of this team,” the former Seattle Sounder said during a conference call on Tuesday. “It’s a great place to play, with fantastic fans, and I’m just luck to play in places where the fans are great.”
Those words will come as a relief to fans who got a little worried after the French striker Tweeted:
“Just got traded to Vancouver! Saddest day for me in my Philadelphia Union story.... Still can't believe it”
But, it seems the 28-year-old was simply expressing his emotions at closing one chapter – and now he’s ready to begin a new one, albeit with an old foe, after going from Philadelphia to Vancouver in exchange for allocation money on Tuesday.
“I’m very happy to go to Vancouver," he said. "I know from my past in Seattle it’s a great city to live and play soccer. I’m very excited to go back to the West Coast. It’s a great place to live. I have great memories over there. I used to play a lot against the Whitecaps [in the USL with the Sounders], but now I hope I’ll score lots of goals for them and help them to win and be a great team in MLS.”
Scoring is something Le Toux knows how to do. The attacker has found the back of the net 25 times over the past two seasons for the Union, but he’s also known as a player capable of creating chances for teammates, as the 20 assists he notched during his stint in Philadelphia testify.
At Vancouver, Le Toux will have the big body of target forward Eric Hassli to set up. Le Toux knows the Whitecaps' first Designated Player from France.
“Eric Hassli is a fantastic player,” Le Toux said. “He’s a great player and scores great goals. He was a guy I was looking at to take stuff from him, so it’s going to be great to play with him in the same team and try to play together and make things happen.”
Le Toux’s move to Vancouver comes after a failed attempt to impress English Premier League side Bolton Wanderers and their manager, Owen Coyle.
During the conference call, Le Toux offered a different version of the events.
“For me, it was not really a tryout," he said. "I was just going over there to have a good experience. That’s it. I still wanted to play in the US to finish my contract. That’s what I wanted the most.”
Now, it seems the Frenchman will have the chance to finish out that contract in Canada.
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.