[Editor's Note: Nice look into Le Toux's goal scoring history with the Union.]
Now that Sebastien Le Toux has been on a red hot scoring streak we have seen many goals over the past few weeks and I noticed a pattern of how Le Toux has been scoring his goals. I thought I would dive into his history with the Philadelphia Union.
2010 was clearly Le Toux’s most versatile year scoring from every single category at least once. It was also noted that this season Le Toux set the record for percentage of team points with his 14 goals and 11 assists. Le Toux was directly involved (either by scoring or assisting) in 73.5% of all Union goals. After the jump is a breakdown of each season (so far) and how he scored the goals.
- Headers: 1
- Dribbling in space: 3
- Dribbling with defenders: 1
- Trap and shoot: 1
- Free Kick: 2
- One-timer from low cross: 3
- Penalty Kick: 3
In 2011 we all know the story of the early season snakebite that Le Toux had. As a result his goals have been less versatile but more condensed in the categories where he scores.
- Headers: 0
- Dribbiling in space: 0
- Dribbling with defenders: 0
- Trap and shoot: 5
- Free Kick: 0
- One-timer from low cross: 1
- Penalty Kick: 4
- #Headers: 1
- Dribbling in space: 3
- #Dribbling with defenders: 1
- *Trap and shoot: 6
- Free Kick: 2
- *One-timer from low cross: 4
- Penalty Kick: 7
Now for a recap:
29.1% of goals his are from penalty kicks. This solidifies the belief of Le Toux being a very composed player on the spot, and he has never missed a PK for the Union.
8.3% of his goals are from situations with nearby defenders (as noted by a #) whether that means dribbling between them or being in a crowd off a set piece or double coverage.
Another 8.3% of his goals are from free kicks, he can make them but by no means is he Beckham on a bad day.
12.5% of his goals are dribbling with space and making good use of the space given.
Most importantly though is where he earns his bread and butter. 41.7% of his goals come from off the ball movement (noted by a *). Either receiving low crosses in the box which he just needs to finish or looping balls that he settles and then fires. People always talk about his hard work ethic and his off the ball movement and this is evidence in concrete numbers.
Further if he scores the majority of his goals from off the ball movement then he needs strong service by his midfielders to be effective. That being said Peter Novak’s Yatzee-esq midfield has only been settled in its personnel in the last couple of games and has been majorly playmakers not attacking midfielders. Attacking midfielders almost by definition are midfielders that are trying to score, which, for the first part of the year was the majority of the midfield. Peter always had Carroll to help out the defense and while he is a strong midfielder is not a playmaker.
We had Keon Daniel who was not discovered to be effective until he left for T&T and got stuck thanks to visa issues and sickness. We have Justin Mapp (need I say more?). The Farfans were developing youngsters who were deemed not ready to handle a starting role and now Michael is a great playmaker with 2 assists and a goal in his last two games while Gabe has been the starting left back since the Harvey trade.
Levi Hopeau spent most of his year in the reserves dealing with injuries and has not seen a minute of MLS action. Miglioranzi is another oldie like Mapp who may be good for developing youngsters but is not good out there on the field himself and also plays more of a defensive midfield.
Then Kyle Nakazawa is a good but inconsistent youngster who can’t play on the wings. Then you’ve got Zach Pfeffer who has only made his first appearance 2 weeks ago and then there is Roger. Roger Torres was known to be a playmaker from last year but was mysteriously absent from the line-up for most of the season except for when the team needed that offensive spark.
Well, the offensive spark he brings is playmaking. This is why Le Toux has begun to become effective at goal scoring once again, first he is no longer playing in the midfield but second is he receives service. All year long Le Toux had unselfishly been providing plenty of assists to teammates while being unable to score because of a lack of service.
For Le Toux to be successful he needs teamwork from his teammates. He is not the player who will dribble between 3 defenders to shoot and score, that is not his style and not his strength. Le Toux's success depends solely on his forward partner and his midfielders working together, and effectively using the openings he creates with his off the ball movement.
--As of October, 1st 2011