Sebastian Le Toux has been key for the Union offense since the World Cup break. Credit: Getty Images
Union forward Sebastien Le Toux left the pitch in pain on Saturday night. He had just scored two goals to give the team a meaningful 2-1 victory over the Montreal Impact, but a cheap shot to the ankle by Impact defender Krzysztof Krol at the end of stoppage time had him limping into the locker room postgame.
Having fought through 175 career matches, 114 of which that have been for the Union, Le Toux isn’t going to let a sore ankle stop him from getting the franchise back into the playoffs this season.
“He kicked me and my ankle kind of locked,” Le Toux explained. “My ankle twisted and stayed in the ground with my knee going forward. It was very painful. I think he was mad at me because I scored two [goals]. I was afraid of something bad, but right now it feels better.”
The Union (6-8-9) haven’t made the playoffs since 2011 where they held the third seed in the Eastern Conference. Le Toux starred at forward that season, notching 11 goals to place him ninth in the MLS by the end of the year. Currently, Le Toux has 10 this season and is tied for sixth in the league. He’s had four goals in the Union’s past four matches.
“I’m very happy to be touching the back of the net every time I shoot right now,” said Le Toux. “Even if it’s a scrappy shot I’ll take it. It’s a good feeling [scoring goals like this] especially when you get a win at the end.”
The Union now sit in fifth in the East, good enough for the final playoff spot. Every game will prove to be meaningful the rest of the way as they fight to hold that spot. They face the Houston Dynamo (6-12-4) on the road Saturday. The game will air at 9 p.m. on NBC Sports.
Union advance to Open Cup final
The Union reached the MLS Open Cup final Tuesday after defeating Dallas FC 2-1 in penalty kicks (4-3). Keeper Zac MacMath pushed away a pair of shots to send the team to its first final in franchise history.
“That was kind of like a heavyweight boxing match,” said Union interim manager Jim Curtin. “Fortunately we were the last team standing even though Dallas put in a great team effort. I had 11 men out there the whole night and this is something that we have been striving for. Now we host a final and we’re extremely excited.”
The Union will host the winner of Wednesday’s match between the Seattle Sounders and Chicago Fire on Sept. 16 at PPL Park. The Fire are five-time champions in their clubs history while the Sounders are three-time winners of the title. No matter who they face, the Union will have a tough task in the final game.