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Sebastian Le Toux joins the Rapids, Luis Solignac Sent to Chicago

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Trades at the transfer deadline. Who would have thought?

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Philadelphia Union Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

And I thought nothing was going to happen today.

In a move that surprised pretty much everyone, the Colorado Rapids acquired Philadelphia Union forward Sebastian Le Toux from the Philadelphia Union Wednesday night, only hours before the secondary transfer window closes for the 2016 season.

Le Toux is a talented, veteran attacker with a proven track record. His MLS career has taken him to the Seattle Sounders, Philadelphia Union, Vancouver Whitecaps, New York Red Bulls, and then back to the Union, where he has played since 2013. The French playmaker has scored 56 goals and tallied 55 assists in 236 games in the American first division.

This season, the 32 year-old Le Toux has started 13 games. Of those, he started at right attacking midfield in Jim Curtain’s favored 4-2-3-1 formation in all but one match. He came off the bench for Philly in another 8 games this year, and has a total of 2 goals, 5 assists in 1206 minutes for the 2016 season.

The Rapids swapped general allocation money to Philadelphia in order to secure Le Toux. Per league policy, MLS teams do not disclose dollar amounts used in player acquisitions, including GAM, TAM, or transfer fees.

The move makes sense for the Union, as they had acquired USMNT international (and former Rapids acquisition target) Alejandro Bedoya earlier in the evening from FC Nantes of French Ligue One.

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But that wasn’t all.

The Rapids simultaneously worked a deal to acquire additional GAM, perhaps in order to pull of the Le Toux trade, by selling striker Luis Solignac to the Chicago Fire for an undisclosed sum of general allocation money.

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Solignac had a mixed run in Commerce City. The 24 year-old Argentine was ineffective in front of goal in 2015, failing to score in 15 games and 1232 minutes of action. That was often from the left wing, where his strength and hold up play were rarely an asset, and his lack of speed and deficiencies in technical ability showed. This season, starting mostly as a lone striker in place of the injured Kevin Doyle, Solignac scored 3 goals in 1105 minutes, and was dangerous making timed runs through the opposing backline, also showing a good first touch. His 3 goals put him tied for second on the Rapids, behind only Kevin Doyle.

Lucho makes sense for Chicago as a potential replacement for the departed Kennedy Igboananike, or possibly as a sub to come on late for the Fire’s new Dutch striker, Michael de Leeuw.

These moves look like the kind of moves a team would make if they were gearing up to do things in the playoffs. Will this be the trick to bringing the Colorado Rapids a second MLS Cup?