Sebastien Le Toux remembers sitting in the locker room not wanting to take his cleats off.
He wanted to keep playing.
Following the season-ending loss to Sporting Kansas City, Le Toux realized the Philadelphia Union had been eliminated from the playoffs.
But he was already pointing to next season.
“I didn’t want to stop, but this is the reality of it,” Le Toux said. “We had a lot of talent in that [locker] room and I know we will come back strong. I know we’re going to come back hungry next season to return to the playoffs. I think we’re all disappointed. But we’re going to regroup and we’ll be back.”
Le Toux had a terrific season with a career high 12 assists to go along with three goals. It was a bit of a different role for the forward, but it was one he reveled in.
Le Toux is the ultimate team player and his passing skills improved dramatically. All he cares about is winning. It doesn’t matter who scores.
“Jack [McInerney], Conor [Casey], Michael [Farfan], myself, or others – I just want to win games,” Le Toux said. “As long as we win, I’m happy. If I’m getting an assist or if someone else is, this is about winning and playing as a team. I thought we came a long way this season. We had some ups and downs, some great moments and some tough ones. We fought and scrapped as hard as we could.
“As I’ve said many, many times, I just wanted to come back to the Union. It was never the same when I left. This is where I want to be and I’m going to come back strong.”
Le Toux battled a case of plantar fasciitis in his right foot, which hampered his effectiveness down the stretch. Le Toux would never use that as an excuse.
“I’ll get treatment and get it right for next season,” Le Toux said. “I couldn’t run the way I wanted to. I couldn’t plant and cut the way I wanted to. I gave it everything I had for the team. I’ll use the offseason to take the steps to get it healed and get ready for the 2014 season. I’m excited to come back healthy and ready to help the club get back to the playoffs.”
There’s not much of an offseason anymore.
Before you know it, the club will be headed to Florida for preseason training. The regular season will start again in March.
“It’s good that it comes so quick because we want to get back playing,” Le Toux said. “We have a lot to prove and we want to keep building. We want to be in the playoffs. That has to be a major goal and we have the team to do it. Once you get in, anything can happen. I like the character in this locker room and I’m sure we’ll all come back hungry for a playoff run.”
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Contact Union writer Andy Jasner at email@example.com