Hello and welcome to my new blog, "Le Toux's Corner"!
In this blog I will review our recent games and performances as a team. I will analyze one of my highlights from the last game and explain to you what happened during the play. We will also look ahead at upcoming games and I will share my thoughts on our next opponents. We started the month of April with an away game in Columbus. Columbus is one of the Eastern Conference teams that has started off very well this season, so this was not an easy task for us to complete. We played pretty well, tying the game with a final score of 1-1. We took the lead at halftime with a goal from Jack Mac, and Columbus scored in the second half with a goal by Orduro. We defended very efficiently and didn't leave a lot of space for Higuain, the Columbus playmaker, who didn't seem to run their offense as well.
We were disappointed not to come home with a win from Columbus because we created a lot of great scoring opportunities in the second half of the game, but we did manage to secure another point on the road. With that said, we move on in our season and take note that we have to capitalize on the opportunities we create, especially away from home. Our last game was against Toronto FC at PPL Park. We wanted to push the rhythm in this game offensively and make Toronto defend a lot in their own half of the field. Unfortunately, we came out playing sloppy soccer, and with Toronto fouling a lot, it prevented us from establishing a rhythm in the game the way we set out to do. We started the second half better, and created a few chances to score, but their keeper made great saves and we missed the frame. Toronto forward Robert Earshaw scored a very good opportunistic goal against the run of play, and we were losing 1-0.
The goal urged us to play like we should have been playing the entire game. We began to put more pressure on Toronto. A red card was given to one of their defenders, and with big help from our fans, we tied the game in extra time with a well-taken goal by Jack Mac. Another tie, which puts our record at 2-2-2 this season and undefeated for April. In this game against Toronto, I had one big opportunity to score in the second half when the game was still tied at 0-0. The action started with a ball on the left side with Conor Casey. I was in the middle of the field and I decided to make a run into the near post, but Conor crossed the ball to the far post for Michael Farfan. Michael chested the ball and passed back to Jack, who with his first touch crossed it back in front of the goal. I was close to the 6 yards box. The ball flew in the air and Jeff Parke tried to reach it with his head, but the ball went above and past him and landed where I was. With a defender in front of me and the goalkeeper still to beat, I decided to volley the ball with my right foot on the first touch.
I felt a pretty good contact with the ball and my shot was powerful, but it went over the crossbar and landed in the Sons of Ben section. I was very disappointed. I thought it was going in the net and, as I hit it, I was already picturing myself celebrating with the fans. There is no better feeling than to score at PPL Park. The atmosphere is so electric. I hope it will happen in the next game. We have two games left on our schedule for the month of April. Those two games are away - next week against DC and the week after against New England Revolution. They are two very important games because we are tied at fifth place in the Eastern Conference with New York with eight points each. And DC and New England are both behind us in the standings, so we need to get points out of those two games. I think we need to get a minimum of four points after those two games to stay well-positioned in the standings. But DC is one of our biggest rivals, and right now they are last in the conference and desperately need to win. So it's going to be a tough game, a battle at RFK, and we have to be well-prepared for it. I am sure lots of Union fans are going to make the trip and support us, and we definitely need them there.
For our last game in April, we are playing New England for the second time this year. I am sure they will be seeking revenge after we beat them at home 1-0 earlier this year. It is also an opportunity for them to get closer to us in the standings. But we have always done well when we play at Gillette Stadium, so we will prepare well and head there with confidence. Hopefully we’ll continue with the success we have enjoyed up there. That's it for now. I will talk to you again next month and hope to have lots of exciting news to share with you. Thanks for reading.
Sebastien Le Toux
Philadelphia Union Forward #11
Be sure to check out www.pplenergyplus.com/union for more access to team content including Union wallpapers, player photos and more!