How Sebastien Le Toux has gone from finishing plays to creating them
The statistics don’t matter.
For Sebastien Le Toux, just having the opportunity to be donning a Philadelphia Union uniform once again is supremely satisfying. He’s been playing consistently and contributing.
In fact, he was leading the league in assists with six following the Union’s 3-0 victory over the Columbus Crew last Wednesday.
In the 2010 and 2011 seasons for the Union, Le Toux compiled 25 goals and 20 assists. Since being reacquired before the season, Le Toux has transformed his game into a playmaker.
“I was so happy and honored to come back to the Union this season,” said Le Toux, who has scored two goals this season. “It was a dream for me to be able to return here to this organization, which I have so much respect for. Things are a little bit different with the roster and I think it’s great. Jack (McInerney), Conor (Casey), myself – we have a lot of firepower on offense.
“If I end up leading the league in assists, that will be great. But with that, I want us to win. If I get all these assists and goals, and we don’t win, it doesn’t mean anything. It’s about winning for me. If Jack scores, or Conor scores, or Sheanon (Williams) scores, that’s fine with me. Just get the three points and I’m happy to be contributing in any way.”
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Le Toux’s playing time was a bit sporadic earlier this season.
Manager John Hackworth kept saying Le Toux would be vital to the success of the club.
Was he ever right.
“I know that I have said that Sebastien is going to be so important to our club,” Hackworth said. “In times when he wasn’t playing as much our coaching staff, locker room, everybody knew how important he had to be, the role he had to play for us to be successful. It’s great for him. He is kind of the guy in this building. He brings it and he certainly did (against the Crew).”
Le Toux’s passion and determination are contagious throughout the locker room. His teammates see it. They react to it as well.
“He has been playing some great balls to the corner and his crosses were unbelievable,” Williams said. “He could have had even more assists. He is doing what we needed him to do and that is to be a leader for us and do other things for us other than score goals. Seba never stops moving and never stops hustling. How can you not see that and want to play harder?
“I think it was great when we found out he was coming back to the Union. Seba leads by example and never lets up for a second. Whether you’re a young player or a veteran player, you want to keep up with his level of effort. His effort has translated on the field and we’re all thrilled.”
Le Toux isn’t sure how his season will turn out personally in terms of statistics. He has never been caught up in numbers. He isn’t worried about them now.
His most important concern is winning games and racking up points to help the Union return to the MLS Cup playoffs.
“It’s a very long season in MLS, and our main goal is to get back to the postseason and go from there,” Le Toux said. “To do that, we’ll need to play consistent football all season. I will do all I can to help us get there. Like I said, I’m so happy to be back with the Union contributing. If it means giving more passes, that’s fine. If it means scoring goals, that’s good, too. If I’ve given space, I know I can score. I can also make crosses to my teammates.
“Being able to do this back with the Union is great because I wasn’t sure it would happen after I left the first time. I’m honored to be here and can’t wait to see what happens the rest of the season.”
Contact Union writer Andy Jasner at firstname.lastname@example.org