Update: No 'possibly' about it. Le Toux has been traded to Vancouver.
When news broke last week that Sebastien Le Toux was headed to England for a trial with Bolton the reaction was generally positive. Yes, there was disappointment, but Union fans were genuinely happy that the face of the franchise was being given an opportunity to play in one of the best leagues in the world.
Moreover, Union fans took solace in the fact that the Union would likely receive a hefty transfer fee in return for Le Toux's services, which, presumably, they'd reinvest in the club. However, as so often happens in world soccer, the transfer never materialized. The transfer with Bolton, that is.
Late Monday afternoon, multiple reports surfaced that the Union, faced with a glut of forwards on the roster, were in discussions to sell Le Toux to Vancouver. Kerith Gabriel of Philly.com and Scott Kessler of The Brotherly Game cited sources indicating talks between the clubs were ongoing. [Update: Sportsnet's Irfaan Gaffar is saying the deal appears done, and Seba is headed to Vancouver, per Ives Galarcep.]
I surmise that Union fans will be a bit less understanding of a Le Toux trade to Vancouver than they were the potential transfer to Bolton. It's one thing to see your team's most popular player move on to bigger and better. It's quite another to see him traded within the league.
The Le Toux rumblings came on the heels of the Union officially announcing that they'd released starting goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon, who is set to rejoin Deportivo Cali, the club with whom he started his professional career.
What does this mean for the Union? Well, Gabriel reports that the Union are keen to secure a permanent transfer for Roger Torres from America de Cali. I don't have a good sense as to how much that would cost, but the Union would have some serious coin at their disposal by releasing Mondragon and trading Le Toux.
Their combined 2011 guaranteed compensation totaled $575,666.67. Factor in the cash sure to come back from Vancouver in any Le Toux deal and you've got money to play with.
The Union have had two All-Stars in its short two-year existence. One (Mondragon) is already out of the door. A second (Le Toux) may not be far behind.
If the Le Toux trade does go down then March 31st should be an interesting day - the Union are scheduled to host Vancouver at PPL Park.
Photo Credit: Kelvin Kuo, US-Presswire
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For the fourth year in a row, Villanova was picked to win the Big East in the league's preseason coaches' poll.
The Wildcats received eight of the 10 possible first-place votes in the poll, which was released on Wednesday and doesn't allow coaches to vote for their own teams. Seton Hall and Xavier received the other two first-place votes.
Villanova finished the 2016-2017 season with a 15-3 record in the Big East, good for first place in the conference, and capped it off with the Big East tournament crown.
The Wildcats finished last season with a 32-4 record overall and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The team returns two starters from last season, including forward Mikal Bridges, who was picked for the All-Big East second team, and point guard Jalen Brunson, who was selected as the 2017-2018 Big East Preseason Player of the Year. Brunson's averages of 14.7 points and 4.1 assists led him to an All-Big East first team selection in 2016-2017.
Sophomore guard Donte DiVincenzo, who averaged 8.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per game on his way to making the Big East all-freshman team, is another returning player that will play a big factor for 'Nova. The Wildcats also add freshman forward Omari Spellman to the mix after he redshirted last season. Spellman was picked in the coaches' poll as the preseason Freshman of the Year.
Jay Wright's squad tips off the 2017-18 season on Nov. 10 against Columbia.