Sebastien Le Toux came into Saturday’s game against the New England Revolution on a hot streak.
He left Gillette Stadium even hotter.
In interim manager Jim Curtin’s first league match in charge, Le Toux scored a pair of goals to lift the Philadelphia Union to a surprising 3-1 win over the Revs.
Le Toux now has six goals and three assists in his last five games (in all competitions), and has helped the Union win all three games they’ve played since Curtin took over for former manager John Hackworth, including two in the US Open Cup.
“It feels great, especially knowing I was injured for a long time before with back spasms,” Le Toux told reporters after the game. “I felt 100 percent going into the game and I just want to continue feeling 100 percent physically. If I am, I know I can bring more to the team.”
Le Toux also credited Curtin for “putting me as more of a forward next to Conor [Casey]” for giving him some newfound confidence.
While Le Toux is a proven goalscorer for the Union, scoring 25 times during the franchise’s first two seasons of existence, he played mostly out wide under Hackworth and never got into much of a goal-scoring rhythm.
Against the Revs, Le Toux seemed to have more offensive freedom, drifting to the middle of the field to score both of his goals. The first one came in the 42nd minute when the Frenchman pounced on a mistake from Jose Goncalves, intercepting a back pass to former teammate Brad Knighton and putting Philly up 1-0 right before halftime.
“It was a little mistake from them,” Curtin said. “But you have to assume the worst is going to happen. So it was a good play from Sebastien.”
After Philly’s Danny Cruz and New England’s Saer Sene traded goals, Le Toux gave the Union some breathing room when he calmly collected a pass from Andrew Wenger in the box, turned and fired one past Knighton to the far post in the 78th minute.
It marked the second straight game Le Toux scored two goals after the Frenchman’s brace lifted the Union to a 2-1 win over the New York Cosmos in the fifth round of the US Open Cup four days ago.
“It was very rewarding [for Le Toux],” said Amobi Okugo, who has moved to the midfield under Curtin with Maurice Edu dropping back into his center back role. “The hard work he put in, he read that play and had a great finish. And he had a great finish later in the game to relieve some of the pressure.”
Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.