Just when most Union fans had finally made peace with the departure of the most popular player in team history, they now find themselves having to watch Sébastien Le Toux in the jersey of their biggest rival.
Le Toux was traded from the Vancouver Whitecaps to the New York Red Bulls Friday evening. The move comes just in time for the Union's game at Red Bull Arena next Saturday, July 20.
In exchange for getting Le Toux, New York parted with Jamaican veteran midfielder/forward Dane Richards and allocation money.
Le Toux's move back east is fascinating for two reasons. The most obvious one is that he is joining the team that Union fans unquestionably hate more than any other.
The second is that Le Toux is going to have to fight for playing time with two of the top five goalscorers in Major League Soccer this season. Kenny Cooper is second overall with 11 goals, and Thierry Henry is in a four-way tie for fourth with nine. Henry also has dished out five assists.
This will be Le Toux's fourth team in his four-year MLS career. After making the move up from the second division with the Seattle Sounders in 2009, he was selected by the Union in the 2010 expansion draft.
The Frenchman was then traded to Vancouver after an offseason trial with then-English Premier League club Bolton Wanderers failed to produce a transfer. After a controversial fallout with the Union's front office, Le Toux was traded to Vancouver for allocation money.
Le Toux scored just four minutes into his Whitecaps debut on the opening day of the season. But since then, he has been inconisistent. I have read quite a few reports in the Vancouver media that despite all the running and hard work he puts in, he hasn't quite found a defined position on the field.
Nor has he been especially productive in front of goal this year: in 18 games played he has scored just four goals from 21 shots.
Le Toux is making $169,000 in guaranteed compensation this year, in case you're wondering.
And in addition to facing the Union next weekend, Le Toux could make his Red Bulls debut on Sunday against another of his former teams - the Sounders. Henry did not travel to New England last weekend because of a persistent calf injury he has been fighting for the last few weeks, though he's expected to play against Seattle.
That Le Toux was traded for Richards specifically makes it likely that he'll see a good amount of playing time for the Red Bulls. But I will reiterate something I said above: he has to knock either Henry or Cooper out of the lineup first.
Whether that does or doesn't happen, there's no doubt that this roller-coaster season for Union fans just got even crazier.
Here's another news item that you might not want to read, but are going to have to deal with anyway: Union midfielder Michael Farfan is listed as "out" of Saturday's game against the Montréal Impact at PPL Park due to a groin strain.
The full injury report for both teams is as follows:
Out: M Michael Farfan (right groin strain), M Cristhian Hernandez (left ankle sprain), F Chandler Hoffman (left big toe fracture), F Krystian Witkowski (concussion symptoms)
Doubtful: D Bakary Soumaré (right knee menisectomy recovery)
Probable: GK Zac MacMath (right ring finger avulsion)
Out: D Matteo Ferrari (right quad strain); D Nelson Rivas (abdomen); F Bernardo Corradi (left knee ACL tear); F Andrew Wenger (left hamstring strain)