As The Union Turn: Le Toux Possibly Heading to Another Country, Only It's Not England

As The Union Turn: Le Toux Possibly Heading to Another Country, Only It's Not England

Update: No 'possibly' about it. Le Toux has been traded to Vancouver.

When news broke last week that Sebastien Le Toux was headed to England for a trial with Bolton the reaction was generally positive. Yes, there was disappointment, but Union fans were genuinely happy that the face of the franchise was being given an opportunity to play in one of the best leagues in the world.
Moreover, Union fans took solace in the fact that the Union would likely receive a hefty transfer fee in return for Le Toux's services, which, presumably, they'd reinvest in the club. However, as so often happens in world soccer, the transfer never materialized. The transfer with Bolton, that is. 
Late Monday afternoon, multiple reports surfaced that the Union, faced with a glut of forwards on the roster, were in discussions to sell Le Toux to Vancouver. Kerith Gabriel of Philly.com and Scott Kessler of The Brotherly Game cited sources indicating talks between the clubs were ongoing. [Update: Sportsnet's Irfaan Gaffar is saying the deal appears done, and Seba is headed to Vancouver, per Ives Galarcep.]

I surmise that Union fans will be a bit less understanding of a Le Toux trade to Vancouver than they were the potential transfer to Bolton. It's one thing to see your team's most popular player move on to bigger and better. It's quite another to see him traded within the league.
The Le Toux rumblings came on the heels of the Union officially announcing that they'd released starting goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon, who is set to rejoin Deportivo Cali, the club with whom he started his professional career.
What does this mean for the Union? Well, Gabriel reports that the Union are keen to secure a permanent transfer for Roger Torres from America de Cali. I don't have a good sense as to how much that would cost, but the Union would have some serious coin at their disposal by releasing Mondragon and trading Le Toux. 
Their combined 2011 guaranteed compensation totaled $575,666.67. Factor in the cash sure to come back from Vancouver in any Le Toux deal and you've got money to play with.
The Union have had two All-Stars in its short two-year existence. One (Mondragon) is already out of the door. A second (Le Toux) may not be far behind.
If the Le Toux trade does go down then March 31st should be an interesting day - the Union are scheduled to host Vancouver at PPL Park.
Photo Credit: Kelvin Kuo, US-Presswire

Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday in Detroit

Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday in Detroit

NEW ORLEANS -- Nerlens Noel made another step toward his return from arthroscopic left knee surgery by joining the Sixers in New Orleans for their game against the Pelicans.

Noel arrived on Wednesday with Robert Covington, who is slated to start after missing the last three games with a left knee sprain. Noel is not cleared to play, but Brown doesn’t think it will be long until he suits up. 

“I don’t think far away,” Brown said of Noel’s regular season debut after shootaround.

When asked about the possibility of Noel playing this weekend when the Sixers face the Pistons on Sunday in Detroit, Brown replied, “Maybe.” 

Noel has missed the entire regular season recovering from elective surgery for an inflamed plica in October. He completed the first phase of his rehab in Birmingham, Ala. and has been continuing his work with the Sixers. This trip to New Orleans is the first time he has been with the Sixers on the road. 

“[He is] integrating with the team, studying a lot of tape, scripting with his teammates with the understanding that we have a chance to see him soon,” Brown said. “All that trying to ramp it up where he can go to an NBA court more comfortably.”

Noel spoke out about his displeasure with the Sixers crowded frontcourt at the start of the preseason. He recently stuck with his stance, saying, “I don’t think the roster’s changed.”

Brown is working to keep the team moving forward as a unit while still being aware of and recognizing Noel’s perspective. 

“It does,” Brown said when asked if Noel’s open frustration concerns him as it pertains to team cohesiveness. “But I feel like it’s so much a part of what we try do around here that it’s not like you’re going to blink and you’ve forgotten something that equals camaraderie, that equals team, that equals trying to keep this together, and you’ve left it for a week … 

“It’s a day-to-day focus for me and it’s a very candid conversation with me and the player. The team hears it, the individual hears it, we all understand it … We need to co-exist and we need to understand the reality of it all, too. There’s a human side you understand. It’s also pride, it’s competitiveness, it’s do your job, it’s nothing is given, you’ve got to take stuff, draw your own line in the sand, competitors rule the day.”

Last season Noel averaged 11.1 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game. The Sixers will look forward to having him back on the court in that once-crowded frontcourt that is now shorthanded. Jahlil Okafor remained in Philadelphia with gastroenteritis. Ben Simmons still is rehabbing from a right Jones fracture. 

"Soon you’re going to see Ben Simmons coming to a team bench where he doesn’t come out with boots and have to push him in some type of wheely apparatus," Brown said. "We’ve dealt with so many injuries trying to find that balance of dealing with their health and so on, and then trying to integrate them back into a team is part of growing a program."

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

I like to give Flyers fans a bit of a hard time on occasion, but that's only because I love them.

One beautiful Flyers fan today reminded me of why I love them.

They took the time to send a postcard to CSNPhilly.com's Flyers Insider -- and hater of the woo -- Tim Panaccio with one single word written on it.

"Woo."

Panotch says "Someone wasted a stamp and post card on this," but I say we just generated at least 50 cents in ad revenue from those of you that are reading this right now.

Money and time well spent.

Now, if you're not up on your wooing, Panotch penned a piece on how some fans wooing at games started annoying some of the players. Panotch hates the woo. BUT... and this is an important but... the Flyers are 6-0 since this all started. 

Woo.