There were a few surprises among the players left unprotected when Philadelphia Union made their 10 selections the day before Thanksgiving 2009.

Sebastien Le Toux had to be at the top of the list.

Ironically, Le Toux was the first player ever signed by Seattle Sounders FC in May of 2008. He was also extremely popular among their fans.

But Seattle chose to leave him available, a decision that turned out to be a golden opportunity for the Union.

Le Toux has been tremendous for Philadelphia in this expansion season.

He’s scoring. He’s passing the ball with precision. He’s displaying a relentless and contagious work ethic. And he’s mentoring the younger players like Danny Mwanga, Jack McInerney and Roger Torres, just to name a few.

Le Toux is a true leader on this club.

“Sebastien comes to work every day with a look of determination on his face,” said goalkeeper Chris Seitz. “He jokes around, too, and smiles, but when it’s time to work, he goes to work. Guys see that and it’s a good thing. I think seeing someone who is that focused can rub off on everyone.”

The 26-year-old Le Toux started in 15 of 28 games for Seattle last season, scoring one goal and notching three assists.

In 2010, Le Toux already has five goals and three assists in just eight games, good for the fourth best goals per game mark in the league. Only Edson Buddle (nine goals in nine games), Dwayne De Rosario (eight goals in ten games) and Chris Wondolowski (six goals in nine games) have been more efficient than Le Toux this season amongst players receiving regular time on the pitch.

“I have had good scoring chances this season,” said Le Toux, a native of Rennes, France, who played for FC Lorient from 2004-06 in France’s Ligue 1. “I have been in good spots on the field to score goals. It has been fun, but I think it will be better with some wins.”

Le Toux’s consistent play has blended in quite nicely with the ever-emerging Mwanga and other developing players on the club.

With Mwanga really coming on as of late, Le Toux’s flexibility has come in handy. Le Toux’s willingness and ability to move back into a midfield role has enabled manager Peter Nowak to feature his leading scorer, Mwanga and striker Alejandro Moreno all together.

“I think Sebastien has been great,” Mwanga said. “He has helped me a lot. He’s a very positive person and he has a lot of soccer knowledge. I think he has just played great this season.”

Playing eight of the first ten games away from home has been a challenge. But whether the Union are home or away, Le Toux prepares the same way.

That preparation is evident once each match starts.

“It’s not easy, we didn’t choose for our schedule to be this way,” Le Toux said. “It’s a part of our season. We can’t use these types of excuses. We have to play the same game away if we put ourselves behind in it.”

With Le Toux clicking and PPL Park’s opening on the horizon, wins are very likely to follow the remainder of the season.

“I think Sebastien is going to score more goals,” Mwanga said. “We’re getting more chances and learning how to take advantage. On this club, we care about winning. None of us mind who scores as long as we win.”

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