CHESTER, Pa. — In his first season in Major League Soccer with the Seattle Sounders in 2009, Sebastien Le Toux started 15 games. He logged 1,457 minutes on the pitch while scoring one goal and adding three assists.
With one game left to play in his first season with the Philadelphia Union, the Frenchman has easily bested each of those totals.
“For me it was a great year,” Le Toux said last week of his first season as a Union player. “I really enjoyed myself here even if we didn’t always get good results. Personally, I went to the All-Star Game and scored lots of goals and assists this year. I also got lots of playing time on top of that, which I wasn’t expecting when I came here. It was great for me to play with lots of confidence and I hope I helped my teammates as well.”
Le Toux has registered 13 goals and 11 assists with his current club and has been in consideration for the league MVP award throughout most of the season given his consistent performance.
The Union have struggled in their inaugural season, with 31 points from 29 games played so far, good for 7th in the Eastern Conference. Their record has improved of late, but the team managed only three wins through June while playing nine of their first 12 league matches on the road.
“With the team, we had a tough start because we played a lot of matches on the road,” Le Toux said. “We have a young team, too. With a new expansion team, a new stadium, new people that work here, everybody needed a little time to adapt. The team started to play well more towards the end of the year, playing tougher defensively. We’ve tried to remember how we played in the beginning going forward into next season.”
The 26-year-old striker is grateful for the chances he was given and the faith bestowed in him by Manager Peter Nowak. He was able to repay that faith with some great moments, including the inaugural Philadelphia goal at PPL Park.
“My first year in Seattle, I didn’t really play a lot,” Le Toux said. “It was good for me to prove that I can be better than I played in Seattle. Personally, I’m very happy about how things turned out.”
Shane Evans covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. You can reach Shane for comments on his Twitter account @shanEvans.