Sebastien Le Toux is returning to Philadelphia. Less than a year after the Union oddly traded away their best player, they have agreed to a trade with the New York Red Bulls that will bring the Frenchman back to PPL Park in exchange for allocation and a player to be named later, as first reported by Soccer By Ives. (Update: It turns out the Red Bulls got seldom-used midfielder Josue Martinez as part of the deal.)
This move is part of both the Union and Red Bulls' attempts to rebuild this winter. Philadelphia was among the worst teams in the league last year, while New York has a new front office that has already made moves to bring in Jamison Olave and Fabian Espindola as they completely retool around Thierry Henry.
Le Toux was acquired by the Union in the 2009 MLS Expansion Draft and had a fabulous first season in Philadelphia, scoring 15 times as one of the lone bright spots in a tough expansion season. The following season saw Le Toux drop to 12 goals, but the Union fared far better and advanced to the playoffs for the first time ever.
It looked like things were pointing up in Philadelphia, but Piotr Nowak spent an offseason tearing the team apart and that included Le Toux. Nowak dealt Le Toux to the Vancouver Whitecaps, which proved to be one of several errors. The Union became the laughingstock of MLS and Nowak was fired in June. Meanwhile, Le Toux went from Vancouver to New York in a crazy season that saw him go from one of MLS's deadliest finishers to a bench player with the Red Bulls.
The Union are rebuilding and Le Toux has a career to get back on track. Now they will do so together again, this time without Nowak and with Le Toux needing the Union as much as the Union need Le Toux.