Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Philly's finest is scorer Sebastien Le Toux
by Ridge Mahoney, October 5th, 2010 12:44AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls, philadelphia union

MOST COMMENTED

[UNDER THE MICROSCOPE] His 13th goal of the season against Houston on Saturday -- combined with 10 assists -- gives Sebastien Le Toux the distinction of participating in 23 of the Philadelphia Union's 32 goals this season. That goal also rates as one of the finest in MLS in 2010 and adds a bit more substance to his inclusion among the serious candidates as league MVP.

Union coach Peter Nowak knew he'd be looking at lot of players during Philly’s debut campaign. He’s doled out time to rookie forwards Jack McInerney and Danny Mwanga while blending the skills of Colombian teenager Roger Torres with the experience of veterans Fred and Alejandro Moreno, and also recent arrival Justin Mapp.

The only constant has been Sebastien Le Toux, who couldn’t hold down a regular starting slot during the debut MLS season for Seattle after a stellar career in the USL. Taken in the expansion draft last November, he’s played every minute of every game in 2010.

He’s played a variety of positions for Philadelphia this season, toggling between wide midfield and forward. Against Houston, Nowak started yet another young attacker, Nick Zimmerman, along with Le Toux and Moreno. Le Toux worked both flanks much of the time, yet occasionally dropped into the middle behind Moreno with Zimmerman pushed to the left. Le Toux also served as point man in the first half when, backed by a strong wind, keeper Brad Knighton aimed several dead balls in his direction.

Le Toux chased down two such kicks in the early minutes, the second of which bounced to him in the left channel. He got the ball under control and took it close to the end line, from which he hit a centering pass to Zimmerman that two defenders converged to clear.

After Houston scored to take a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute, Le Toux and his teammates stepped up their pressure. In addition to touch, vision and guile, Le Toux has one of the strongest engines in MLS and created a chance out of nothing in the 25th minute by simply being a pest.

When another long ball from Knighton dropped in his vicinity, he mistrapped it up into the air. An opponent headed it back toward the Houston goal for defender Adrian Serioux, and as LeToux chased, Serioux bungled his touch. Le Toux stole the ball and dribbled it toward goal but keeper Pat Onstad came out sharply to take it at LeToux’s feet. He grimaced at the missed opportunity.

Le Toux argued briefly with referee Kevin Stott in the 34th minute when called for a foul while backing into Serioux as he jockeyed to control a throw-in. Listed at 6-feet, 155 pounds, Le Toux has a low center of gravity and reasonable strength that enables him to serve effectively as a target man when necessary, and fend off challenges on the dribble as well as in congested situations.

In the 38th minute he ran onto a throw-in near the right touchline, dropped it back to Torres, then glided up the line past Serioux to center a ball that Ryan Cochrane cleared out for a corner kick. In two more minutes he’d outfoxed Cochrane and the Dynamo back line to tie the game.

Torres, on the right side of midfield in the Dynamo half, escaped the marking of Brad Davis long enough to serve a left-footed diagonal ball as Le Toux, this time in the middle, slipped behind Cochrane into the penalty area. He extended his left leg and foot to cushion the ball at waist-height, then as it neared the ground fluidly drilled it right-footed along the grass just inside the post.

“Golazo!!” trumpeted the TeleFutura commentator. That it was, a sublime trap and classy finish made to look effortless by Le Toux’s poise, balance, and skill.

Both teams worked and sweated through the second half without conjuring up many chances. Le Toux drew a pair of fouls from Cochrane; the second one provided the Union with a free kick in stoppage time from more than 35 yards out. Ambitiously, Le Toux went for goal and missed high, the ball clearing the crossbar by a few yards and careening into a tunnel near a banner proclaimed that side of PPL Park to be the “River End.”

Such shots sometimes trigger groans and derisive shouts even from the home fans, but instead, they saluted Le Toux’s attempt, and gave him another rousing cheer a few seconds later at the final whistle. The Union has missed the playoffs in its inaugural season yet has given its fans plenty of reasons for optimism, including a very capable No. 9.



0 comments
  1. Joe Hosack
    commented on: October 5, 2010 at 3:16 p.m.
    As a season ticket holder in Philadelphia I can tell you that No. 9 is a treasure on and off the field and this is so refresshing to watch. After ever home game, Sebastian is a great ambassador for soccer and THE UNION as he will meet with every fan/child that would like to speak with him or receive an autograph. He stays as long as fans are present. He was throwing his boots into the stands in early Spring even before he was in the running for any awards. He is a class act that we couldn't be happier with, here in Philadelphia, thanks for noticing! Thank you Sebastian LeToux!!

  1. Joe Grady
    commented on: October 5, 2010 at 4:50 p.m.
    I'll second what Joe said above. Love the Seb!


Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Video Pick: George Evans starts Man City's U.S. tour in style    
Manchester City's 20-year-old academy product George Evans spent all of the past two years on loan ...
Video Pick: Brilliant soccer tennis at French Open    
The French Open crowd erupted in cheers when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Dudi Sela started using their ...
U.S. U-23s down the Dutch, 3-1     
The USA bounced back from its 3-1 opening loss against France at the Festival International Espoirs ...
ICYMI | MLS: Orlando City will expand new downtown stadium    
Orlando City will increase capacity in the new stadium, initially expected to hold 19,000 fans, to ...
FIFA: Blatter survives, easily winning election to fifth term    
Embattled Sepp Blatter won election for a fifth four-year term as FIFA president, defeating his sole ...
What They're Saying: Kuwait's Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah    
"While I am very happy to be in Congress, it is not as quiet as we ...
NWSL Roundup: Whitehill retires, off to Canada    
Cat Whitehill, who will be a color analyst on Fox Sports' coverage of the Women's World ...
ICYMI MLS: Sapong rebounds; Galaxy-Revs, the rematch    
All-Star voting is underway and fans have myriad voting options. Forward C.J. Sapong celebrated his return ...
Twenty for Canada 2015: USA's Christen Press     
Three years ago, Christen Press thought she was giving up on her lifelong dream of playing ...
TV Report: EPL's U.S. viewership is up 9 percent    
English Premier League viewership on NBC and NBCSN averaged 479,000 viewers, up 9 percent from last ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives