Greg Carroccio

Le Toux finds his groove when Union need him most

CHESTER, Pa. — Sebastien Le Toux never lost faith.

Even when his shots kept clanging off the post, crossbar or sailing just wide, Le Toux kept hustling, running and doing all he could to help the Union win.

That’s his mantra and always will be.

“I felt I was a bit unlucky and it can be tough, but I’m a team player,” Le Toux said. “As long as we win, I’m happy. I never worried about whether I was scoring or not.”

Still, it had to be a bit frustrating when he was leading the league with five shots off the post or crossbar. After a 14-goal outburst last season, expectations were high for the Frenchman.

Le Toux was stuck on one goal for a while, but he has been outstanding with six goals in the last six matches. His goal in the 32nd minute lifted the Union to a 1-0 victory over the Eastern Conference-leading Columbus Crew on Saturday night at a sold out PPL Park.

Le Toux passed former striker Carlos Ruiz as the club’s leading scorer with seven goals.

“I think it’s great,” Le Toux said of beating Columbus. “Even though we only got one [goal], I’m happy. It’s tough trying to get everyone involved, especially the younger guys who got to play but it’s important that they get involved because we are going to need all of them for the playoffs. 

“If I score and we win, that’s what I want. If I score twice and we lose, then it’s not what I want.”

Le Toux is the ultimate team player as evidenced by his 14 assists last season and eight thus far in 2011. When he wasn’t scoring, he was still getting his teammates involved.

“Lately, I’ve been in good positions to score and I’ve gotten great passes from my teammates,” Le Toux said. “I do the same for them. I feel just as good when a pass I make leads to a goal for our club.”

Le Toux said the penalty kicks he was able to capitalize on  three of Le Toux's first four goals came from the spot — helped with his confidence.

“I’m very confident right now in myself,” he said. “I’m very fit and I feel very good. Being able to score helps make you feel good. Helping us to win makes it even better.”

Le Toux’s goal on Saturday gave the Union three points. At 9-7-12 (39 points), they’re tied with the Houston Dynamo for third place with two games in hand. Philadelphia trail Sporting Kansas City by one point and the Crew by two.

Next up is a trip to Kansas City on Friday night (8:30 p.m., FOX Soccer).

"At this stage, it’s about winning,” said Le Toux.