Despite finishing second in fan voting amongst midfielders, Sebastien Le Toux was left off the MLS All Star First XI that was announced today on MLSsoccer.com.
Le Toux finished sixth in overall MF voting, which is comprised of 25% fans, 25% media, 25% player, and 25% coaches/GMs, leaving him just one spot shy of inclusion. The midfielders selected were Dwayne De Rosario (Toronto FC), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Marco Pappa (Chicago Fire), Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake), and Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Columbus Crew).
Philadelphia fans can't be blamed for the Frenchman's snubbing, as only Dwayne De Rosario finished ahead in midfield fan voting. For whatever reason, it appears as if the league has yet to fully catch on to the versatile Le Toux's talent and production after he played more sporadically last season with Seattle.
Despite missing a few chances to add to his goal total on Saturday against San Jose, there still isn't a single player in MLS with more combined goals/assists than Le Toux (12). Others are tied or close behind, such as Edson Buddle (12), Fredy Montero (12), Landon Donovan (11), Alvaro Saborio (11), De Rosario (11), and Pappa (10), but the fact is no player in MLS has been more prolific this season.
While Donovan has only played in 10 games compared to Le Toux's 11, the same total Buddle has suited up for, Montero, Saborio, De Rosario and Pappa have played a combined 14 more matches than Philadelphia's top scorer. Not only has Le Toux been efficiently racking up stats, but he's also doing all the little things that don't show up on the scoresheet. There simply may not be a more hardworking player in the league, a trait that has quickly endeared him as a fan favorite at PPL Park.
While Union fans are likely up in arms about the First XI announcement -- and it's hard to blame them -- all five players who were selected were deserving candidates. It's just hard to argue that any of them have been better, and that's what makes the decision so frustrating.
All hope is not lost, however. In fact, Le Toux even has a chance to start when the MLS All Stars line up against Manchester United in Houston on Wednesday, July 28 (live on ESPN2 and TeleFutura at 8:30 p.m. ET).
The First XI is not necessarily the starting lineup. MLS All-Star coach Bruce Arena will select the starters based on player availability and tactical considerations. If First XI selections are unavailable due to injury, international duty or other commitments, Arena, in collaboration with host city head coach Dominic Kinnear of the Houston Dynamo, will select alternates for the game day roster.
Given the season Le Toux is having, he has to be at the top of the list to replace the injured Beckerman in MLS' starting XI. The rest of the 23-man All Star roster will consist of 10 coaches’ picks and two Commissioner’s selections, which will be announced on Monday, July 19.
Here's to Le Toux ultimately getting his due.