Le Toux Surprised to be All-Star Starter
Being selected as an MLS All-Star for the first time was already
quite an accomplishment for Sebastien Le Toux, who was left unprotected in the
MLS Expansion Draft just eight months ago.
To have an opportunity to start in the All-Star Game,
however, came as a surprise and made the experience all the more special for
the Union’s leading scorer.
“It was just this afternoon during the meeting with the
team,” Le Toux said after the MLS All Stars’ 5-2 loss to Manchester United. “I knew (then) that I was going to
start, it was a great surprise and I was very happy. Unfortunately we lost
tonight, but it was very fun.
“It was great (to start) and I was very happy and I just
tried to do my best on the field. We tried to play very open soccer and make
good entertainment for the people who came tonight but it was a bit different
because we never play together. I hope we did the best we can and next time
maybe we can win.”
While no professional athlete wants to lose, the outcome is
far from the only focus when the league’s best players come together in the
middle of the season every year. Particularly when you have the honor of representing
Philadelphia as the first-ever All-Star in the midst of the club’s inaugural
“Yeah, of course it was very special for me, and I try to do
my best on the field,” Le Toux said. “I tried to play the same as I do
(normally), but it was a bit hard because we don’t really know each other. We
just played two days together and we just know each other from TV and all the
games we play against each other. I was very proud to be the first Philadelphia
All-Star and it was really nice for me but now it’s passed and I’m focusing on
Saturday against New England.”
For Le Toux, spending time with fellow All-Stars and the
overall experience of playing Manchester United in front of 70,728 fans was
far more important than the final score.
“The whole (experience in Houston) was very nice, to be in
contact with great players around the league and to (get to) know them better
when usually we play against them,” he said. “To have time with them, it was
nice. Of course the stadium was pretty big, very different than the one I used
to play in in Seattle and in Philadelphia. It was a dome with 70,000 people and
it’s not usual to play in front of that (many people).”
Immediately after the match, Le Toux was already thinking
ahead to a far more important showdown, Saturday’s 3:30pm match against New
England at PPL Park.
With 10 out of the club's 16 remaining league matches at home, the
Frenchman understands that every point matters for an expansion side trying to force its
way into the playoff picture.
“Of course we try to win all the games at home,” said Le
Toux. “It’s the most important to continue to get points and more than in the
first half (of the season). It’s the fifteenth game of the season (on Saturday)
and the most important thing is to continue the good roll we’ve had for two
“At home a win would be huge for the standings. It’ll be a
nice game and I’m going to be prepared and ready. I’m not
really tired so I’ll be fine for the game.”
While Le Toux’s club-first mentality won’t come as a
surprise to anyone who knows the type of player and person he is, it’s hard to
blame him for reveling in the moment just a little. After all, it wasn’t long
ago that he was battling for minutes in Seattle.
In Philadelphia, with increased freedom to both attack and track back behind the ball at will, Le Toux has blossomed into one of MLS’
brightest stars. Starting in the All-Star Game simply confirmed the quality
that is apparent every time he steps on the pitch.
“It was a great experience and hopefully it’s going to continue
for me and I’ll continue to make progress,” Le Toux said before leaving Reliant
Stadium. “I was really surprised to be here but it was nice. Now I will try to
win more games with Philadelphia.”