I just had this thought and I was curious what people thought about it. As we all know, Sebastien Le Toux has been extremely important for the Phildelphia Union, with 11 goals and 10 assists. Le Toux was also something of a fan favorite here in Seattle and many were sad to see him go.
Ianni, on the other hand, has no eye-popping statistics. He did, however, fill a hole at defensive midfielder for a while and when he wasn't filling in there, he has been a key centerback for the Sounders, especially with Hurtado out for most of the season with his knee injury.
Meanwhile, in Seba's absence, the Sounders have added Blaise Nkufo up top and seem to have plenty of options for wingers (where it must be said that Le Toux didn't seem as effective as he has been in a more forward role for Philadelphia.)
I know some people like Taylor Graham, so maybe they feel like Ianni has been something of a luxury, and that Le Toux would have gotten a chance up top when Jaqua was hurt earlier this season. On the other hand, maybe Sigi never would have given much of a chance to play up top even with Jaqua out.I guess one reason I bring this up is that I've heard Le Toux's name in MVP discussions at times, and I have a hard time buying that. Yes, he has goals and assists. At the same time, Fredy Montero has 10 goals and 9 assists, and the Sounders have won more than Philadelphia has. Also, 3 of Le Toux's 11 goals are PK conversions, and given the league conversion rate on PKs, I generally give less credit to a player for those goals than for goals from the run of play. Plus, to me at least, even granting that Le Toux brings something to the table, I have a hard time seeing any case for Le Toux as a better player than Montero, and a couple of goals and an assist wouldn't change my mind. (Really, I would dismiss out of hand anyone who mentioned Le Toux for MVP without at least mentioning Montero.)
That got me thinking about Le Toux and Ianni, and if you look at team stats, the Sounders have scored more goals than the Union, and they have also prevented a LOT more goals--39 GA for Philly and 29 GA for Seattle. Surely the Union would miss Le Toux's scoring if they didn't have him--but *someone* would still be playing forward in Philadelpha, and we can't just assume that Le Toux's replacement(s) would have zero goals and zero assists so far this season. But given Philly troubles allowing goals, would they be better off with Ianni playing a steady, if unspectacular, centerback, keeping games tighter, and maybe getting some more results?
So, if you could keep only one of the two players, who would you keep?