CHESTER, Pa. – He may have scored 14 goals and added 11 assists this past season, but for Philadelphia Union star Sebastien Le Toux, there is a certain way you go about doing it on the pitch.
Le Toux was named the MLS Xbox 360 Fair Play award-winner on Wednesday, and he emphasized that he's proud of his disciplinary record on the pitch.
“I try to be a good example on the field and off the field," Le Toux said. "I always try to be fair with the fans, whether we play away or at home. The fact that I get this award shows that I am on the right track, and I have to continue to do what I’m doing. It’s great that someone like me can show the kids how to play.”
Le Toux enjoyed a sparkling disciplinary record this season, not earning a single card and committing only 10 fouls. Playing with composure is what keeps Le Toux in the referee’s good graces, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed as this award has shown.
Beating out C.J. Brown of the Chicago Fire and Chris Wondolowski of the San Jose Earthquakes to the award, Le Toux admits he just tries to be smart when he’s on the pitch.
“Lots of people talk about my work rate and the fact that I defend a lot even though I’m a forward,” said Le Toux of his play. “I try to stay true to the rules and not make stupid fouls. With lots of forwards, some get red cards at bad times or make bad fouls at the end of the game. Even if my team is winning, I never think that is the way to play. It’s not now two years I’ve played in MLS, and I’ve never got a red card or a yellow card.”
It’s not just while on the field. Le Toux tries to act with character wherever he is.
"I’m the same way off the field as well as I don’t get mixed up in any trouble or fights,” said Le Toux of his personal life. “I got this through my education and through my family. I’m just really glad that MLS and people around the league and the fans see that and respect like what I do.”
Many people in Philadelphia believe Le Toux should have won another MLS award – the Most Valuable Player – given all he contributed to the team in its inaugural year. For Le Toux, it’s about his team winning hardware. Despite being thrilled about taking home this prize, he knows he can do better near year.
“The motivation isn’t about me being better individually, it’s about doing something with the Philadelphia Union and making the playoffs and winning a title," he said. "We play a collective sport and it’s not about individual awards. I’m disappointed we didn’t win an awards as a team, so I’m motivated to try harder for that next season.”
Shane Evans covers the Philadelphia Union for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached for comments on Twitter @shanEvans.