MLS Expansion - Seattle signs their first player
Sébastien LeToux proved himself to be a quality player last year after netting 10 goals for the Sounders and propelling them to the league championship. He is one of the main reasons the MLS group argued hard to get permission to sign players directly from the USL club without going through the normal discovery allocation or other MLS hoops, and according to Sounders Coach Brian Schmetzer we shouldn't expect him to be the only player that moves up to the big league.
"(LeToux) is an exceptional soccer player," Schmetzer said. "We've developed him on the USL level; now, he's made the jump to Seattle Sounders FC. We hope to do that with six, eight, 10 of (the USL Sounders) and hopefully we can have a good nucleus of the team for '09. ... The top half of our roster, I truly believe, is better than the bottom half of some of the MLS teams."The ability for the new MLS Sounders to draw from an established team gives them a leg up that no other expansion team has had.
LeToux alone will not give the team enough offense to make a huge splash in MLS, but he is an excellent start. It is worth noting that he did manage to score three goals during the Sounders three 2007 US Open Cup matches against MLS teams.
LeToux's contract is worth $96,000 a year.
* For those that don't know, the owner of the USL's Sounders Adrian Hanauer is also one of the owners of the new MLS Sounders who will begin play in 2009.