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Sebastien Le Toux to return to Philadelphia, sign one-day contract

Photo: Paul Rudderow

The Philadelphia Union front office has just announced that fan favorite and Union original Sebastien Le Toux would be signing a one-day contract so he can retire as a member of the Philadelphia Union. The contract will be signed Tuesday during a press conference at Talen Energy Stadium. Being just one day, and signed on a Tuesday, the contract will not include any playing time whatsoever. The press release also indicates that Le Toux will be the inaugural inductee into the Union’s “Ring of Honor” at a ceremony to take place during the June 28th home game vs. Vancouver.

Full Press Release:

CHESTER, Pa. (May 7, 2018) – Former Philadelphia Union forward Sebastien Le Toux today announced his intent to retire from professional soccer. One of the greatest players in Union history, Le Toux will sign a ceremonial one-day contract to retire as a Philadelphia player tomorrow, Tuesday, May 8 during a press conference at the TruMark Financial Club in Talen Energy Stadium. In recognition of his contributions to the Philadelphia Union, Le Toux will also become the inaugural inductee in the newly formed Philadelphia Union Ring of Honor, with the ceremony set to take place during the Union’s home match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday, June 23.

Le Toux retires as the Union’s all-time leader in nearly every major offensive category, including games played (175), goals (50), assists (50), shots (320), shots on goal (144) and corner kicks (379). With 59 goals and 57 assists across his distinguished MLS career, he is one of just 19 players in the league’s 50-goal, 50-assist club, and one of eight to achieve those milestones for one club.

“Philadelphia is where I had the most opportunities on and off the field,” said Le Toux. “It is where I found career success with the Philadelphia Union, met my wife, and found my forever home with friends, family, and fans that have become family.”

“Certain players capture the spirit of a club and Sebastien Le Toux’s tireless work on and off the field during the Union’s formative years helped create lifelong memories for our fans, young and old,” added Jay Sugarman, Philadelphia Union Chairman and Owner. “I am delighted he will end his impressive career here, in Union Blue and Gold, and am proud he will become the first member of the Union Ring of Honor.”

“As Sebastien announces his retirement from professional soccer today, we at the Philadelphia Union would like to congratulate him on his successful career and thank him for his contributions to our club,” said Earnie Stewart, Union Sporting Director. “He deserves this recognition for what he has meant to the Union and our fans over the years, and we’d like to wish him and his family the absolute best moving forward.”

A native of Mont-Saint-Aignan, France, Le Toux first came to Philadelphia as part of the 2009 MLS Expansion Draft and was a part of the club’s inaugural roster. He was a member of the Union’s first-ever starting XI, on March 25, 2010 at Seattle, and he scored the club’s first-ever goal one match later at Lincoln Financial Field vs. D.C. United (April 10, 2010). He would go on to register a hat trick in that contest, one of three in Union history.

As part of a stellar first season with Philadelphia (14 goals, 11 assists), which saw him named as the Union’s first MLS All-Star and first nominee to the MLS Best XI, Le Toux also became the first and only player to date in Union history to reach double digits in both goals and assists over a single season.

“Sebastien Le Toux has played a vital role in our organization’s history and it’s fitting that he’s retiring as a member of the Philadelphia Union,” said Jim Curtin, Union Head Coach. “He was key in our club’s success and created memorable moments. Whether scoring a hat trick in our first official home match, to scoring the first playoff goal in Union history, or leading us to back-to-back Open Cup Finals, Sebastien always brought his best for the club. He is the face of the Philadelphia Union and we’re happy to be a part of his final chapter in his career.”

“Sebastien leaves behind an unmistakable legacy with the Philadelphia Union and we’re proud that it will live on as the first-ever member in our Ring of Honor,” added Tim McDermott, Union Chief Business Officer. “His connection with the fanbase, on and off the field, is one of the reasons that being a Union fan is so special. He is a true club legend and there is nobody more fitting for this honor than Sebastien.”

Le Toux followed that season up with an 11-goal, nine-assist effort in 2011. He was named MLS Player of the Month for September of that season after registering seven goals over six matches throughout the month, becoming the first Union player to earn that award as well. He is also a two-time recipient of the MLS Individual Fair Play Award (2010, 2011).

After stints with Vancouver Whitecaps FC and the New York Red Bulls, Le Toux returned to Philadelphia ahead of the 2013 season. He scored in his debut match back with the club, vs. Sporting Kansas City (March 2, 2013) and would go on to tally three goals and 12 assists that year, setting a then club-record for most assists in a single campaign. He then recorded 12 goals and seven assists in 2014, reaching double digits in goals as a Union player for the third time, the most in team history.

During the 2016 season, his last with Philadelphia, Le Toux scored his 50th goal for the club in the stadium where his Union career began, at Seattle (April 16, 2016). His 50th assist for the team came two months later in a home match vs. Vancouver (June 25, 2016).

In addition to Philadelphia, Le Toux also spent time with Seattle, Vancouver, the Red Bulls, Colorado and D.C. United over his MLS career, winning the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with Seattle in 2009. He also played for Lorient in his native France prior to moving to the United States.

28 Comments

  1. Andy Muenz says:

    Well deserved. Hopefully June 23 will be a sellout at Talen Energy Stadium.

  2. As far as PR moves go. This is way better than a mascot. This will actually bring people to the stadium as opposed to a mascot.

  3. Tim Jones says:

    Every future inductee should be given a blue and gold sash, opposit shoulder to opposite waist that reads Legion de Le Toux, assuming I got the French correct.

  4. I’m just thankful the transfer window is closed so there is no way this organization can trade him a third time.
    .
    .
    But in all seriousness, well deserved to be the first player ever in the Union’s Ring of Honor. Not only did he give everything he had on the field each game, but off the field as well. I bet he still holds the Union record in most fan event appearances.
    .
    Congrats Seba! #LeLegend

  5. el Pachyderm says:

    I believe I remember it as Miglioranzi who sent a flat ball over the Houston central defenders head in the first game or two at PPL Park… the Frenchman running on to it top speed with arm flap of a middle distance runner, finding a half yard of space- just as the ball passes his right shoulder on descent Le Toux flick settles the ball in full stretch then in one breath (all others holding their own) defined everything that is beautiful about FFF… depositing the ball simply past the keeper. The place erupted. Shook. Streamers on the Delaware stopped and sounded the horn a Mayflower moving truck across the Barry Jake-Braked burnt rubber — football had arrived in Philadelphia. We were going to be grand.
    .
    It was an awesome spectacle…. my wife missed standing on line for Chickie & Pete’s…. and well we all know how the story has played out since.
    .

  6. I mean this in all honesty – we should sign him to a 1 YEAR deal. I believe Seba still has the highest +/- rating in Union history.

  7. after Le Toux, who do you (eventually) induct? not trying to be sour here. just curious who this team thinks deserves this honor?

    • Andy Muenz says:

      Danny Califf. Eventually Andre Blake.

      • John Ling says:

        These were my serious answers.
        .
        My not-so-serious answers are myriad. Because that’s so Union. I’ll go ahead and just drop one name. Danny Cruz. 🙂

      • scottymac says:

        Califf? For most elbows thrown?
        .
        Maidana is 2nd in assists and 1st in kids who don’t go to bed ontime.
        .
        Brian Carrol is second in games and Ray Gaddis is third. Maybe they can put Ray’s name over the gate in the ring to wave people by, will feel authentic.

      • appreciate the Califf add. i don’t want to diminish his contribution to the club but i look at time and impact. 2 1/3 seasons aren’t enough for me. he was shipped off as unceremoniously as Le Toux and i didn’t hear or personally witness the outpour of loss like Seba received.

        Blake is a lock on both my metrics. outside of that, in what would be almost 10 seasons, i can’t consider another.

        edit: carroll is a nice contender but… that’s enough for luminary status? if i had to concede a second, i’d go with him though.

    • The Truth says:

      Brian Carroll, #BCLegend

  8. Nothing but respect and props to the front office for this. They’ve messed a lot of things up, but they got this exactly right. Hopefully the place is packed and rocking on June 23rd. Well done Union, well done Seba.

    • agreed. it’s gonna be another long season. Seba class through and through. deserves the recognition.

  9. Phil Narozanick says:

    My first game Seba scored directly in front of where I was sitting in the non-river end and celebrated like he scored a goal in a World Cup final. From that moment, I was hooked on the U. I hope that they can find players other than Bedoya to play with the same fire that Le Toux did for his entire career in Philly. Merci Seba!

  10. The Chopper says:

    Ring of honor is nice, but LeToux and perhaps Brian Carrol will be very lonely for some time to come. More fitting will be the Union ring of infamy. First inductees Rais Mbolhi, Freddy Adu & Peter Nowak.

  11. The Truth says:

    Le Toux brought a smile to my face more than any other Union player. He made going to Chester worthwhile. Haven’t felt so strongly about another player since.

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