CHESTER, Pa. – Few players have had the kind of US Open Cup success as Sebastien Le Toux, who currently holds the tournament’s modern-day scoring record with 14 goals.
But for the Philadelphia Union striker, the only thing that matters is winning his second Open Cup title. Le Toux made that point clear in a press conference leading up to Tuesday’s USOC championship game between the Union and the Seattle Sounders at PPL Park (7:30 pm ET, GolTV). Le Toux joked that he hopes Seattle’s Kenny Cooper – who’s tied for second with 13 goals – scores twice to break his record while the Union win 3-2.
“The fact that we are both leading scorers, it’s a nice thing, but it’s not the most important thing,” Le Toux said, while sitting next to Cooper. “We are both looking at the trophy, and we want to get it no matter what.”
Throughout the press conference, Le Toux and Cooper also joked that they’re long-lost brothers – and the two certainly do look similar. But on the field right now, no one looks quite like Le Toux, who’s registered 12 goals and five assists in all competitions since the start of June.
Three of those goals came in the Open Cup, a tournament Le Toux has grown to love. While playing for the Sounders when they were in the USL, the striker scored five goals in both the 2007 and 2008 tournaments before adding another during Seattle’s run to the USOC title in 2009 (their first year in MLS).
Now, Le Toux wants to win another a trophy – this time against the Sounders.
“It’s special,” Le Toux said. “I’m sure all of us, at one time in our career, have won something. Even if it’s a small tournament or a big tournament, getting a victory is a great joy, personally and collectively. We want to bring the first trophy to this franchise. Everyone is motivated, and I’ll try to show my experience and leadership because I know what it takes to win this final. And I hope I can win again with Philadelphia.”
But, perhaps more than anyone else in the locker room, the red-hot Le Toux is the player the Union will lean on the most as they attempt to win the franchise’s first-ever championship.
“Seba’s on fire right now,” White said. “There’s nothing about Seba you can’t applaud him at – his defense, his attacking, his leadership. He’s scoring goals, and he’s backing up what he’s saying. For him to be on fire going into the [finals of the] Open Cup, a competition where he’s been multiple times and is the leading scorer, it’s good to have him on our side.”
Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at email@example.com.