Player watch: Sébastien Le Toux

Converted winger proving he can set up just as well as he can score goals

Sébastien Le Toux’s goal scoring prowess during his first tour with the Philadelphia Union made him a fan favourite.

He found the back of the net 25 times in 62 games played as a forward over two seasons with the Union, in 2010 and 2011.

In his second stint with the club, after some time spent unsuccessfully with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC and the New York Red Bulls last season, he has once again endeared himself to soccer fans in Philly, but this time with his set pieces and set up plays as a midfielder.

Le Toux has indeed played in the midfield at times during his MLS career. But while with the Union in previous seasons, the Frenchman said publicly that he thought he was best-served as a striker.

With the emergence of Jack McInerney and the return to form of 2013 newcomer Conor Casey, Le Toux has found that he’s been most productive down the wing, thanks to his vastly improved service on set pieces or precise crosses to the two target players up top.

As a result, Le Toux, who Impact fans are familiar with during his time with the Seattle Sounders back in the NASL days, is leading the league in assist with 12, one ahead of his closest rival, Portland Timbers DP Diego Valeri.

According to mlssoccer.com, Le Toux is currently on pace for at least 17 assists. In the last 10 years, the only MLS player who had more was Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who finished with 19 assists with Columbus in 2008.

Last season, SKC’s Graham Zusi led the entire league with just 15 and the Impact’s best set up man was Felipe with 10, who is also tied for tops on the team with seven helpers in 2013 with Justin Mapp and Patrice Bernier.

As Le Toux has reinvented himself upon his return to Philly, the Impact will look to keep things steady and continue doing what it did well last weekend in the 5-0 win over the Houston Dynamo as it visits the city of brotherly love this Saturday.

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