Philadelphia's Le Toux delivers big against New England
CHESTER, Pa. — Throughout most of this season, Sébastien Le Toux couldn’t score.
Now, it seems, the Frenchman can’t miss.
Just a few days after netting his first goal from the run of play this season, Le Toux delivered two huge goals in the final minutes of Philadelphia’s dramatic come-from-behind 4-4 draw with the New England Revolution on Wednesday night at PPL Park.
“I think it’s good for me,” Le Toux said following the wild game. “My teammates joke around with me, especially Stefani Miglioranzi, that in the last 10 games I’m going to score every game and help the team the best I can like I didn’t do at the beginning of the season. I hope this is the case.”
For the Union, Le Toux’s sudden hot streak could not be coming at a better time.
With Philly trailing by two goals in the 79th minute, the striker was fouled in the box and then buried the ensuing penalty kick to make the score 4-3. Le Toux, almost automatic from the spot, has now made all four of the Union’s penalty kicks this season and all seven in the franchise’s two-year history.
Then, in stoppage time, he netted one of the biggest goals of Philly’s season. After defender Carlos Valdés looped a ball into a crowded penalty box, Veljko Paunović chested the ball down and Le Toux pounced on it and drilled it home, tying the game and sending the fans at PPL into a frenzy.
The Union, to be sure, wanted a win against a Revs team that came into Wednesday’s game in last place, but will certainly take the point after being down three goals. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, they’re only the fifth team in MLS history to come back from a three-goal deficit.
“We need him to score goals,” Union central back Danny Califf said. “We need that steady presence, the guy we can count on to score goals. It’s nice he’s able to be that and hopefully he can continue that scoring streak.”
For most of the season, Le Toux had been a puzzling scoring drought – puzzling because he led the team with 14 goals a year ago and also because he was still playing a very good brand of attacking soccer this year.
But Le Toux always seemed to keep a smile on his face, almost like he was keeping a secret from everyone else that the goals would eventually come in bunches.
“Like I’ve been saying from the beginning, it was just a matter of time,” said fellow striker Danny Mwanga. “He’s been working hard from the beginning of the season until now, and I think now it’s starting to pay off.”
For Le Toux, who now has a very respectable six goals and eight assists this season, perhaps one of the best parts of his recent scoring flurry is that he’ll no longer have to answer questions about his drought – that and the fact that if he keeps it up, the Union will be in much better shape to qualify for the playoffs.
“In Salt Lake, we lost but I was happy to score my first one in the run of play because all of you guys [the media] were talking about that,” Le Toux said. “So now you have something else to talk about. It’s out of the way now. It was good for me, but I hope in the future my goals will help the team win, not just tie.”
Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @DaveZeitlin.