Sebastien Le Toux appears to be embracing his role as a forward for the expansion Philadelphia Union, and that doesn’t bode well for a struggling Toronto FC defense.
After getting an outstanding game from Le Toux, the Union look to earn their first road win as they kick off a four-game trip against Toronto on Thursday night.
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Le Toux made his league debut last season, scoring one goal in 28 games for Seattle as a midfielder. Now with Philadelphia (1-1-0), Le Toux changed positions and his last performance indicated that was a smart move.
Le Toux scored three goals, including the tiebreaker in the 80th minute, as the Union won their inaugural home game, 3-2 over D.C. on Saturday. It was a big confidence boost for a first-year club that lost its opener 2-0 at Seattle on March 25.
"The team has great strength as a group, and we’ll have to show that game after game," said Le Toux, who received MLS player of the week honors. "We have a lot of games on the road in the beginning of the year, so we have to be ready for that. We are really proud of how we played last Saturday and we’ll need everyone ready for the season."
Le Toux’s big game came with Fred making his season debut, giving Philadelphia a veteran presence in the midfield. Fred missed the matchup with the Sounders due to a one-game suspension for a red card he received while playing for United in last season’s finale against Kansas City.
Fred scored 11 goals in 72 appearances with D.C. over three years. His experience should help on a long trip for Philadelphia, which won’t play at home again until May 15 against FC Dallas.
"I thought Fred played great," said midfielder Stefani Miglioranzi. "He will have his chances to score all season. I thought he was so steady. He knows how to play, and he’s very knowledgeable. He is really going to help our club."
A matchup with Toronto (0-2-0) may give Le Toux, Fred and the Union another chance to impress. Toronto FC is playing its home opener after getting outscored 6-1 in its first two games.
Toronto gave up 46 goals last season, with only San Jose (50), New York (47) and FC Dallas (47) surrendering more. Toronto gave up three goals in an 11-minute span early in the second half of a 4-1 loss to New England on Saturday night.
Defender Adrian Cann was signed by Toronto on Monday. Cann has spent the last two seasons in Denmark with Esberg FB.
"Adrian will add to our backline with his height and his strength, so we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do on the field for us," Toronto director Mo Johnston said.
Cann was drafted 16th overall in 2004 by the Colorado Rapids, making two appearances before being released midway through the season.