Union striker Le Toux struggling to find net


Monday, June 13, 2011
Posted: 9 a.m.
By Ryan Bright
CSNPhilly.com Contributor

CHESTER, Pa. -- He hasnt scored a live-action goal in 13 games this season, but somehow Sebastien Le Toux has managed to fend off frustration.

The same frustration that should have reached a boiling point on Saturday against Real Salt Lake, as the Union, led by Le Toux, failed to capitalize on numerous first-half attempts, only to settle for a disappointing 1-1 draw at PPL Park.

I work hard so thats not the case, said Le Toux, who scored his only goal of the season on April 30 on a penalty kick. I got some chances and opportunities and they didnt go in. Its OK.

The opening 45 minutes was a display of dominance from the Union. They peppered Nick Rimando and the Real Salt Lake goal with everything they had, putting five shots on net.

On one attack an untimely offsides call negated a potential Le Toux score. Midfielder Keon Daniel was whistled after he centered a pass to Le Toux, who fought off a defender before depositing the ball in the goal.

The goal was recalled and it was just the beginning of Le Touxs snake-bitten evening.

After the Union grabbed the 1-0 lead in the 24th minute, thanks to a header by Daniel, Le Toux began to turn up the heat again. Four minutes later, on a set up from Danny Mwanga, the 27-year-old ripped a shot from the top of the box that deflected off the crossbar and out of play. Later, in the second half, Le Toux attempted a clean header from the middle of the box, which missed the frame by inches.

The Union finished with seven total shots on goal. Le Toux totaled four shots, but just one was on net.

Sebastien and Danny Mwanga were a little unlucky today, said coach Peter Nowak. They were in great spots, especially in the first half, to score a goal today.

Nowak, with quotes like these, has consistently and confidently propped up Le Touxs efforts despite his lack of production. With adequate backing, the Frenchman has focused on simply putting in the work with hopes that getting his name on the score sheet will inevitably come. However, as evident by Saturdays hard-luck draw, Le Touxs inability to finish is turning into a legitimate concern as his failed chances at crucial times are turning into lost result points for the team.

Nowak tries to keep pushing me and moving me around to give me more opportunities, said Le Toux. We had like 22 chances today, but it was good to see Keon get the first goal of his career.

Sharing his thoughts on Le Touxs situation was Union-leading goal scorer Mwanga, who felt his teammates pain but also commended him for never wavering.

Hes a very good player and hes a professional, said Mwanga, in his second year. Hes the first guy to say to keep fighting, even if you miss the first or second one. Just keep doing what youre doing and they will come. Even after he had his two chances early, he kept pushing and earned more chances.

On the plus side, without Le Touxs production and in the absence of Carlos Ruiz, who was called up to the Guatemalan National Team for Gold Cup duty, the Union have been forced to spread the wealth in terms of goals. Its something they have become accustomed to.

With Daniels goal, the Union now have 10 players that have scored at least once.

To have different pieces scoring goals is very good, said Nowak.

Le Toux and the Union will have an opportunity to break out offensively, and avenge their lost two points on Saturday, when they travel to Vancouver. The lowly Whitecaps have given up the third-most goals against in the MLS, en route to a 1-6-8 record.
E-mail Ryan Bright at ryanbright13@gmail.com

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