I was as confused as anyone this morning to read that new MLS expansion team Seattle Sounders FC signed French forward Sebastien LeToux to a multi-year deal. Not because LeToux is a poor player, mind you, but because Seattle doesn’t have a game for about 11 months. Or a coach. Or uniforms. Now, I’m wondering, what did Le Toux hold up at the obligatory press conference? A Seahawks jersey?
As of now, LeToux is about the only thing Seattle does have going for it. Well, other than the star power of the new (and fatter!) host of The Price Is Right, co-owner Drew Carey. I wonder what Seattle bid for LeToux’s services. Perhaps everyone else went too high and they stole him with the classic $1 offering. God, I wish real salary negotiations followed classic The Price Is Right rules. I can see the headlines now: “Columbus Retains Figo, But Loses His Rights to San Jose in Plinko Debacle” and “Mo Johnston Out in Toronto After Showcase Showdown Catastrophe”.
LeToux currently plays with the Seattle Sounders of the United Soccer League’s First Division. Last season, he led the team in scoring and was the league MVP. In LeToux, Seattle will not only have a capable forward, but also a face familiar to the notoriously loyal local fans
Seattle likely knew they either needed to give LeToux a deal to stay in Seattle now, or risk losing him to another squad prior to their inaugural game. It was a smart move by the Seattle suits. Not only does it secure a strong player’s services, but it gives the franchise some needed publicity.
Of course, LeToux can’t be officially added to the Sounders’ roster until the MLS official signing period begins in December. I am betting he won’t be lonely in the locker room for too long as Seattle appears to be motivated to come into the league and immediately be competitive, unlike last year’s debacle in Toronto and this year’s so far-so ugly performance of San Jose.
One way Seattle could become a playoff contender right off the bat (strange pun for a soccer blog, I know)? They could pair the young LeToux with a more experienced, and slightly better known French striker. Oh, I don’t know, who is available right now? Oh, Thierry Henry. Well, that’s not too shabby.
Henry, formerly with Arsenal, is rumored to be leaving Barcelona and many teams have felt a little queasy when considering his bankroll busting salary demands.
But, hey, co-owner Paul Allen has some of the deepest pockets in the world, and co-owner and Hollywood producer Joe Roth knows that Henry’s appeal can get the turnstiles cranking. (I have a love-hate relationship with Roth, you have to appreciate the body of work of anyone who was responsible for Bachelor Party, Major League and Young Guns, but I still believe he should serve some time in prison for exposing the American public to The Jerky Boys Movie and Daddy Day Care).
Though Henry has previously stated his desire to play in New York, the Red Bulls already have two designated players (Angel and Reyna) and the caffeine-dispensing company may not have the greenbacks to procure one of Europe’s top talents.
So, Seattle could make sense as a destination for Henry if the top European powers find his salary requests to be unreasonable. If the Sounders do get him, MLS fans will get a chance to see one of this generation’s most dynamic players before age can rob him of his considerable talents.
I say, Thierry Henry, come on down, your the next contestant on The Unbelievably, Egregiously High Price Is Right!