BURNABY, B.C. – Being shunted out to the right isn’t a move many strikers embrace, but speaking with Sébastien Le Toux, you wouldn’t think it’s a big deal.
The Frenchman, who arrived at the club with the reputation of being one of Major League Soccer’s most deadly finishers, and has since delivered by scoring half of the club’s paltry six goals, found himself pushed out to the right wing to accommodate Camilo’s return in last weekend’s 1-0 win over FC Dallas.
GOAL: Le Toux heads in from close range
“It was a bit different spot for me [against FC Dallas],” Le Toux told MLSsoccer.com recently. “I tried my best to help [Lee Young-Pyo] on the side, and make sure [Brek Shea] didn’t have a lot of chances to go one-vs.-one, and I think we did a pretty good job.”
The pairing of Le Toux and Lee did so well at shutting Shea down last weekend that Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman eventually switched Shea to right wing in order for him to avoid facing the pair. Le Toux now hopes if he’s asked to play a similar role that he can be just as effective against the Columbus Crew on Saturday (7:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online).
“It was good for me to help the team in this way,” Le Toux said. “I’m sure I’ll play different positions throughout the year – wherever the team needs me.”
Misfiring Hassli still a topic
Vancouver head coach Martin Rennie was on the defensive again this week after one reporter brought up Eric Hassli’s continuing drought, which now stands at 16 appearances without a goal, stretching back to August of lat year.
“We are getting a lot from him,” Rennie answered after a training session on Wednesday. “As I’ve said the last few times I’ve been asked about it, we’re only a few games into this season. I think people are looking at, ‘Oh, he hasn’t scored since way back last year,’ but half of that time he was probably on a beach somewhere, so he couldn’t have scored then.
“Before that, at the end of last season he wasn’t actually playing. So, I think he’s doing well. He was involved in a lot of the goals we’ve scored so far and he’s played a big part in it. He’s a good focal point for our attack. Obviously you always want goals but you want that from every player and, I think as a striker, you do get judged on that more, but his overall play has been good.”
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.