Fans' View

Fans’ View: The French Knight

Photo: Paul Rudderow

A beam of light pierces the night sky. In the center, an unmistakable mark: A BAT. The signal goes up over Gotham City and serves as a warning to foes, a beacon to the masses of his beloved city.

Our very own Batman is answering our signal these days. Sebastien Le Toux is doing his best to save the city that is the Union’s playoff chances. Is Le Toux Batman? I’m just saying… I’ve never seen them in the same place.

Now, on the surface, there are obvious differences. Batman is a vigilante obsessed with doling out justice and removing the criminal element from his city. Sebastien Le Toux is a forward, scoring goals with equal measure guile and hard work. Batman is the secret identity of a multimillionaire playboy, Bruce Wayne. Sebastien Le Toux is the secret identity of no one — THAT WE KNOW OF. Batman is wealthy beyond our imaginations. And for that matter, the imagination of Sebastien Le Toux.

But there are more similarities than you may initially think. Both wear costumes. Granted, Batman’s is a bit more…elaborate. They both wear a badge on their chests. It’s under those badges, where the true similarities are revealed.

For all of the gritty, sometimes brutal content in Batman, it’s hard to argue he doesn’t have a heart. I mean, he put on the cape and cowl because his parents were murdered. Batman is kind of emo in that regard. Sebastien on the other hand uses that heart to drive his legs and body to a level of hard work rarely seen in professional sports. He bests opponents not because he is more physically gifted, but because he wants it more and he proves it week after week. One thing they both hold dearly in their hearts is a love for the cities they represent.

But I don’t think they’d be obvious choices for their roles. Bruce Wayne is an upper-crust playboy who is better known for the size of his house than the size of his heart. He wasn’t seen as a man of the people or a symbol of what good people can do. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think many people would immediately see a French soccer player as innately “Philly.”

Boy, would they be wrong.

There is no single player on the Philadelphia Union who represents the ideals of Philadelphia more than Sebastien Le Toux. When I first moved to this city, I found out pretty quickly that it’s a city that you have to work with and for. Le Toux understood this almost immediately. His work ethic, his tireless battery, and his guile are the perfect fit for an athlete in Philadelphia.

And that’s why we’ll cheer him. Because he’s not our DP. He’s a silent workhorse. He’s the player Philly deserves and the one it needs right now.


  1. Nice; and he had a nice assist last night!

  2. old soccer coach says:

    Whenever the club feels it has enough history to create a pantheon of honored former players, they should call it the Legion of Le Toux with him as the first inductee.

  3. closest thing the U have to the cliched club legend.

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