For all the wonderful goals, magical moments, and endless hustle, Sebastien Le Toux's entrance into the Ring of Honor on Saturday may be best embodied by the very fact that he has stepped onto the pitch in Union colors more often than any other player in history.
175 times in regular season play, and twice more in the playoffs, Le Toux pulled on the Union crest and wore it with as much pride as any player ever will.
The prolific Frenchman wore the colors of five Major League Soccer teams over his career, but the blue and gold of Philadelphia was what made him most comfortable. Even in retirement he remains connected to the club for which he scored 50 regular season goals.
Le Toux was on the field for 55 Union wins during his career, 38 of them at home in front of the fans he loved to serve. Despite being traded away twice, the energetic striker/winger’s heart stayed in Philadelphia, and when he had the chance to return he jumped at it.
Union head coach Jim Curtin believes it is important for Philadelphia Union players to be intimately linked to the city they represent. He speaks of being “Philly tough,” and of playing for the badge on the front rather than the name on the back.
No player has loved wearing the Union badge more than Sebastien Le Toux. Each time he stepped onto the pitch wearing the club’s colors, he saw it as an opportunity to show the fans that he had worked all week in order to give them all he had on game day. After all, they had worked all week and were now choosing to spend their time and money on a chance to urge him on with their chants, howls, and energy.
So when Le Toux steps out onto the pitch Saturday, he will do so as the player with the most appearances in Union history. And just like every appearance before this one, he will savor the chance to share it with the fans.