The Union were obviously fortunate to acquire Sebastien Le Toux in the 2009 Expansion Draft.
But this fortunate?
Even they have to be impressed with the consistent stellar play of their dynamic attacker. After all, Le Toux's offensive output has been more prolific than that of any other expansion draft pick in MLS history in the season after being left unprotected.
Le Toux scored his 13th goal of the 2010 campaign in dramatic fashion and helped the club to a 1-1 draw against the Houston Dynamo Saturday at PPL Park.
Roger Torres lofted a cross to Le Toux, who somehow managed to bring the ball down with his left foot with Houston defender Ryan Cochrane draped on his back. In one fluid motion, Le Toux switched the ball to his right foot and calmly slotted the finish past goalkeeper Pat Onstad to tie the match in the 40th minute.
The goal moved Le Toux into a two-way tie for second place in the Golden Boot race with Toronto FC’s Dwayne De Rosario and New York’s Juan Pablo Angel, two behind Edson Buddle for the league lead after the LA Galaxy striker scored on Sunday night.
“(The goal) was spectacular,” said Union Manager Peter Nowak. “From the build-up, to Roger (Torres’) pass, and to (Le Toux’s) finish and touch, it was spectacular. I think not too many guys can score and control the ball like that, especially in a full-speed run. He deserves more credit than he probably wished for because he is a top candidate for the MVP this season."
Le Toux’s all-out hustle and production game in and game out have clearly caught not only Nowak’s attention, but the attention of the entire league.
“I think Le Toux is leading by example, he doesn’t care about all the awards and all this stuff that is being put through his mind," Nowak continued. "He just goes out there and tries to do his best job to contribute to this team. I will be more than happy to see him getting this award this season because if you see how many guys deserve it from the whole league and in what capacity they make their team better, then there is no better candidate then Sebastien Le Toux, a one-man show who makes this team better.”
Le Toux will never talk about individual awards. He’ll always focus on the task that awaits.
[inline_node:287505]For the Union, that means a date with the Galaxy on Thursday night at PPL Park.
“We just want to finish on a great note in our stadium, to show to the Philadelphia fans that we can come back next year and we are going to be ready for a great season,” Le Toux said. “This match is next for us, and we will be ready. I just want to win the game.”
Le Toux remains the only player in the league to reach double figures in goals and assists (10). Not bad for a player left available in the offseason.
“He is everything a Philadelphia fan wants to see in a player,” defender Jordan Harvey said of Le Toux. “He works very hard, plays hard every second on the field and loves being with the fans afterward. Who wouldn’t like a player like him? He’s been healthy and that has been big for him. He never gives up on a play. I think he has had a fantastic season. We’re all happy for him because his production has been a byproduct of his work ethic. That’s what this club is all about.”
For Le Toux, the best-case scenario is to help the Union win each of their final three matches.
If he happens to score goals in the process and win the Golden Boot or even the MVP, so be it. He’d much rather win the games.
“It’s nice to be talked about by the media,” Le Toux said. “I want to try and help us win these games, finish strong and come back even stronger for next season.”