Recap: Sebastien Le Toux Powers Philadelphia Union past Montreal Impact


Aug 9, 2014; Chester, PA, USA; Philadelphia Union forward Sebastien Le Toux (11) celebrates his goal during the second half of the match against the Montreal Impact at at PPL Park. The Philadelphia Union won the match 2-1. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t look now, but the Philadelphia Union are quietly making a push up the standings in the Eastern Conference standings and solidifying a spot in the playoffs. The main reason behind this has been Sebastien Le Toux’s play.

On Saturday, his dominant play continued with two goals against a struggling Montreal Impact. The Frenchman scored his ninth and 10th goal, respectively, on the season to lift the hosts past the Impact 2-1 in front of a sold out crowd.

Montreal looked to strike first in the opening minutes. However, Zac MacMath and the Union defense stood strong preventing the visitors from playing spoilers. Former Union striker and current Impact player Jack McInerney‘s free kick was blocked by the defense.

Moments later, Le Toux gave the hosts the early lead. MacMath noticed the Impact slowly getting back on defense on the goal kick and sent a long, booming ball towards Le Toux. The ball strangely bounced around with Le Toux finding the ball. He dribbled past the keeper and sent the ball into the open net.

Philadelphia led 1-0 at the half after back and forth possession between the two squads.

In the second half, the Union looked to double their lead and take the Impact out of the match.

Le Toux did just that, but not before the Impact had a chance of equalizing.

Justin Mapp record the Impact’s first shot on-target in the 59th minutes. After getting some space and past Ray Gaddis, Mapp’s low drive right at MacMath was saved preventing a rebound opportunity.

Former Impact player and current forward Andrew Wenger was subbed on in the 60th minute and immediately impacted the game. Wenger made a strong run up the field. Wenger’s opportunity looked to have ended on a muffed pass, but it somehow found Le Toux. His somewhat ugly strike got through the defense and by the keeper putting the hosts up by the two.

Le Toux almost completed a hat-trick minutes later. However, his strike from 20 yards out was off the mark. With his latest two-goal effort, Le Toux’s 10 goals this season rank him fifth in MLS.

The two-goal lead ended up being key as the Union defense gave up a late goal. Maxim Tissot made a late run past Sheanon Williams and found space on the near side. He corralled the ball and cut the lead with ten minutes remaining.

In the end, the Union held on for a key win and three points to start their three-game stretch in seven days. On Tuesday, the Union take on FC Dallas in the 2014 US Open Cup Semifinals before returning to league play against the Dynamo on Friday.

As the game’s final whistle blew, both teams were frustrated at center referee. On one hand, Jim Curtain was frustrated that Le Toux was injured after the game could have already ended. On the other, Montreal players felt there should have been more time added. In reality, the fourth official initially called for three minutes of stoppage time. MacMath momentarily previously went down in stoppage time, but it seemed like four extra minutes was unnecessary.

Post-game, Le Toux walked off under his own power, but was visibly limping. He mentioned on CSN Philly’s post-game coverage that the injury was very sore. With two games in the coming week, Le Toux’s injury is something to watch in the coming days.

In the end, the Union get three points and move into the fifth and final playoff spot. With the result, the Union extend their point streak to five games.

Odds and Ends

Carlos Valdes made his return to the Union’s starting XI and seemed to be comfortable alongside Ethan White.

Rais M’Bohli was not in the 18 tonight. During Curtin’s post-game interview, he mentioned that M’Bohli “had some business to deal with off the field.” It is unknown when he could make his first Union start.