There are plenty of cliches to throw around when it comes to Vancouver's Sébastien Le Toux.
He works hard. He plays for the team. He scores goals, he sets up teammates, he plays both sides of the ball. He's smart. He's industrious. He's the kind of guy you want on your team.
All are true. But what makes Le Toux special is that even when he's not playing his preferred position in his preferred set-up, he still finds a way to impact the game. He just puts his head down, does his job and, more often than not, comes out as a net positive in the game's ledger.
Such was the case against Colorado this past weekend when the Frenchman not only scored the game-winner with a wicked volley from a picture-perfect Davide Chiumiento long ball, but also helped keep the 'Caps from getting steamrolled despite playing a good chunk of the game with 10 men.
So let's heap cliche on top of cliche in praise of Le Toux — he's certainly earned it. And he also earned the No. 1 spot for this week's Castrol Index (which also includes the handful of games from Week 13 and 14 when most MLS sides were on the international break).
Le Toux's teammate Darren Mattocks, who was the man sent off against Colorado, had himself a much better outing the weekend before against Houston, and with it grabbed a pair of goals and the No. 2 position in the Index. The rookie rode the offside line twice to lead Vancouver's 3-1 steamrolling of a sluggish Houston side two weekends ago.
The Dynamo bounced back with a win this past weekend, taking the Texas Derby 2-1 over FC Dallas. Will Bruin got the opener and only a series of spectacular saves and one cruel intervention by the post prevented him from adding to his tally. The second-year forward has six goals on the season, and in the process has become more of a focal point in Dominic Kinnear's attack.
Rounding out the top five are a pair of Sporting KC men, goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen and forward C.J. Sapong. Nielsen (No. 4) had perhaps his best game of the season in SKC's 2-0 win over Toronto FC, stopping a Danny Koevermans breakaway and generally dominating his area. Sapong (No. 5), after going scoreless in seven games, got his second goal in two when he opened the scoring against the Reds. He now has five on the season, matching his output from last year's Rookie of the Year campaign.
Also making a welcome return to the top 20 is LA Galaxy 'keeper Josh Saunders. The veteran pulled in at No. 11 in leading the Galaxy to their first shutout of the season.
Weekly Top 20 Performers - Week 15+ Powered by Castrol Index
|1||Sébastien Le Toux||Forward||Vancouver Whitecaps||90||1,740||Colorado Rapids|
|2||Darren Mattocks||Forward||Vancouver Whitecaps||87||1,653||Houston Dynamo|
|3||Will Bruin||Forward||Houston Dynamo||90||1,437||FC Dallas|
|4||Jimmy Nielsen||Goalkeeper||Sporting Kansas City||90||1,436||Toronto FC|
|5||C.J. Sapong||Forward||Sporting Kansas City||90||1,392||Toronto FC|
|6||Nick Rimando||Goalkeeper||Real Salt Lake||90||1,245||Real Salt Lake|
|7||Andy Gruenebaum||Goalkeeper||Columbus Crew||90||1,210||Columbus Crew|
|8||Fabián Espíndola||Forward||Real Salt Lake||90||1,137||Real Salt Lake|
|9||Bill Hamid||Goalkeeper||D.C. United||90||1,083||D.C. United|
|10||Adam Moffat||Midfielder||Houston Dynamo||90||1,078||FC Dallas|
|11||Josh Saunders||Goalkeeper||LA Galaxy||90||1,071||Portland Timbers|
|12||Jackson||Midfielder||FC Dallas||90||1,057||FC Dallas|
|14||Patrick Nyarko||Midfielder||Chicago Fire||90||1,042||New York Red Bulls|
|13||Todd Dunivant||Defender||LA Galaxy||90||1,042||Portland Timbers|
|15||Kelyn Rowe||Midfielder||New England Revolution||26||1,009||Chicago Fire|
|16||Joe Cannon||Goalkeeper||Vancouver Whitecaps||90||989||Colorado Rapids|
|17||Will Johnson||Midfielder||Real Salt Lake||90||971||Real Salt Lake|
|18||Dax McCarty||Midfielder||New York Red Bulls||88||959||New York Red Bulls|
|19||Carlos Valdés||Defender||Philadelphia Union||90||958||D.C. United|
|20||Gonzalo Segares||Defender||Chicago Fire||90||953||New York Red Bulls|