Long after the Union and Real Salt Lake battled to a 1-1 tie Wednesday night at PPL Park, Sebastien Le Toux was preparing for the next game.
He was poignant after the match. He was still intense. He was joking with the younger players, especially rookie Danny Mwanga.
Le Toux refuses to get down or dwell on anything.
During the hard-fought draw, he was racing up and down the field like he always does. Never one to give up on a play, he forced a couple of corner kicks just by pure hustle.
While wins have been hard to come by, Le Toux’s passion never wanes. His energy during matches and in the locker room afterwards is, simply put, the definition of contagious.
“He leads by example,” said Mwanga, who scored his sixth goal of the season in the eighth minute after a sensational pass from Le Toux. “He’s a guy you want to follow and watch how he works.”
Le Toux won’t get frustrated. Yet he was succinct and honest following the tie.
“We have to finish some more chances,” said Le Toux, who leads the Union with nine goals and eight assists. “We have opportunities that come and the window is there. We have to finish some. We are creating. It’s about finishing.”
The Union had 10 corner kicks, largely thanks to Le Toux’s strong play. On two of those corners, Le Toux waved his arms in the air to get the Sons of Ben section even more fired up.
“The fans were fantastic,” said Le Toux. “I wanted us to come up with three points for them. They have been here cheering us on from the beginning. I think we have a great homefield advantage.”
Not to mention a great leader.
“If you feel tired just watch Seba run,” Mwanga said. “He keeps going. He’s always pushing. I think having a player like that to follow is what every team needs."
As usual, Le Toux stayed on the field, signing autographs and posing for pictures. He has become a fan favorite on this club, universally loved for the same qualities that endear him to his teammates and the technical staff.
“I try to play the right way and handle myself off the field the right way because I love the game and these fans are amazing,” Le Toux said. “I think we have big things ahead of us here.”
The inaugural season continues Saturday against the Colorado Rapids at 4:00 p.m. at PPL Park.
No matter the circumstances, Le Toux's seemingly limitless work-rate will be on display, doing everything possible to help the Union earn a coveted three points.
“Seba,” defender Danny Califf said, “will always play hard. That’s a constant you can expect. I think his energy is something every young player should watch and learn from. He’s a player you definitely want to emulate.”