[MLS TRANSACTIONS]As far as blockbuster deals go, this has the potential to rank with last year's trade that sent Dwayne Re Rosario from the New York Red Bulls to D.C. United. On Saturday, the Red Bulls announced they had acquired French forward Sebastien Le Toux from Vancouver in exchange for midfielder Dane Richardsand allocation money. On Sunday, Le Toux needed only 24 minutes to score his first goal for the Red Bulls in their 2-2 tie with the Seattle Sounders and drew praise from countryman Thierry Henry.
“Sebastien had a great game,” Henry, the Red Bulls captain said. “Scoring a goal in his first game for us was great. Bill also played well.”
Henry was referring to goalie Bill Gaudette, who was picked up from the Los Angeles Galaxy and started in place of injured rookie Ryan Meara.
Le Toux, 28, had four goals and one assist in 19 appearances in his first season with the Whitecaps.
He had a pair of standout seasons with the Philadelphia Union, recording 25 goals and 20 assists in 62 regular-season starts, leading Philadelphia in both goals and assists in 2010 and 2011.
“Sebastien is one of the premier attacking players in the League and someone who we have admired for a long time. He will be able to play a number of different positions and will be an important piece for us as we challenge for the MLS Cup this year,” said Red Bulls General Manager and Sporting Director Erik Soler in announcing the deal. “We also want to wish Dane the best of luck in Vancouver. He has been a great player for our club and it was a difficult decision to trade someone of his quality.”
Richards, drafted out of Clemson University in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft, is in second place all-time in New York league appearances with 147.
Richards is also second in games started for the club (132) and minutes played (11,699), trailing only Mike Petke.
This year, Richards had one goal and two assists in 17 appearances.