There was always something I liked about Sebastien Le Toux. When he joined the Philadelphia Union in 2010, he became the expansion squad's first real star. He really took to it, despite the team's good-but-not-great inaugural year. He seemed to like Philadelphia, and everyone, Philadelphians and non-Philadelphians alike, felt likewise.
Then came a string of events that completely derailed the Union's 2012 season. Danny Califf was shipped west to Chivas USA and Le Toux to Vancouver. Both had gripes with then-Union boss Pitor Nowack, gripes that proved to be legitimate when we found out Nowak was a psychopath.
Then, Le Toux was shipped back East in exchange for a soon-to-be-departing Dane Richards -- who, by the way, is being shopped by his current club, Burnley. I was excited. Le Toux seemed like he was a class act and he was a fan favorite wherever he went.
But his stint in New York didn't go as planned. He only scored one goal in 878 minutes. He siphoned off minutes from 18-goal scorer Kenny Cooper, including a head-scratching benching in the playoffs against D.C. United. Then-Head Coach Hans Backe tried to shoehorn Le Toux into the line-up seemingly regardless of form and Le Toux, who doesn't play particularly well out-of-position, didn't return the favor.
But that's not why I've stopped liking, or respecting, Le Toux. It's how he handled his (short) tenure in New York.
Maybe it was proximity, maybe it was time away, but when Le Toux got to New York it seemed he couldn't think of anything but Philly. There was little in the way of the professionalism many expected. Aside from his goal against the Seattle Sounders -- for whom he made his MLS debut in 2009 -- Le Toux did little.
But underperforming is fine compared to what he did do: Openly pine for Philadelphia. Reportedly, his agent got him a deal with the Union during the throes of the playoffs. The same week Le Toux was tapped to start over Cooper, news came out Le Toux-to-Philly was basically done. The Red Bulls likely had a case for tampering, something the Union seem to have little patience for when it happens to them.
Apparently paychecks only count for something when they're cut on the wrong end of the Jersey Turnpike.
Thankfully -- mercifully -- Le Toux was dealt back to the Union before the 2013 season, back where he feels more comfortable, and where he made a cute little comment about attendance upon his return. Laughable, when you see how many showed up at PPL Park was for the Union's game against the New England Revolution.
So a belated good riddance to Sebastien Le Toux. Saturday, he won't be treated well by the South Ward, and rightfully so. The mark of a professional is going out and doing your job, even if it's under less-than-optimal conditions. All Le Toux did for a few months in New York is prove he's not much of one.