CHESTER, Pa. – A day after winning his second consecutive Xbox 360 Individual Fair Play Award, Union attacker Sébastien Le Toux turned to one of the league’s most physical players with a smile and a proposal.
“I would like to share it with him,” Le Toux said, looking at teammate Danny Califf. “Danny didn’t get any red cards this year and I think he should be rewarded for that. I’m pretty amazed about that, so I’m going to share my Fair Play Award with him this year.”
Califf, who has been shown 41 yellow cards and three reds during the course of his eight-year MLS career, responded with a laugh and a playful dig, saying Le Toux doesn’t get called for many fouls because “he’s a buck-25, soaking wet.”
But the Union defender later talked about how impressive it is that Le Toux has never drawn a card through three seasons in the league – the main reason the French striker has reeled in back-to-back Fair Play awards.
“It’s fantastic,” Califf said. “We need him on the field. The less time he spends in the referee’s eyes is better for us and better for him. I think it’s due recognition. I think he should be up for a couple of other awards besides the Fair Play Award, but at least he’s getting recognized for that. I know all the guys in the locker room are really stoked for him.”
Perhaps the most impressive part of Le Toux’s card-less streak is that he hardly ever comes off the field and never fails to go hard after the ball. This season, he was the only Union player to play every minute of every game, leading the club with 11 goals and nine assists.
Through his first three years in the league, Le Toux has logged 7,037 minutes. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is only the third player in league history to heave reached 7,000 career minutes before being carded. Mark Chung and David Kramer are the others.
“It proves that even if I play hard and go for the ball and press the defender, I always know when to stop,” Le Toux said. “Kicking a guy is not who I am, and I don’t like to do that. Even when I’m frustrated, I always try to be as respectful as I can to the referee.”
Le Toux, who's also been an MLS All-Star Game and a Best XI honoree, admitted this kind of award is not something he really thinks about it. Still, that doesn’t diminish the accomplishment.
“I’m very proud of it,” Le Toux said. “I’m glad it came to me for a second time. It says that I set a good example.”
Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.