Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
Once again, Philadelphia Union forward Sebastien Le Toux is the odd man out.
Since the start of April, the Frenchman has started on just once, and didn’t make it off the bench in the 3-2 win last Sunday against D.C. United. According to manager John Hackworth though, being able to have a player like Le Toux available on the bench is a positive.
“Seba [sic] is very important to our team, no question.” Hackworth said during his weekly press conference. “It might appear to people that he’s not playing enough, but that’s a sign of a good team, when you have depth.”
With the goal-scoring form of Jack McInerney and full health of former U.S. international Conor Casey in front, it’s not easy for Le Toux or teammate Antoine Hoppenot to get into the starting lineup. Despite this, Hackworth knows that during a 34-match Major League Soccer season, Le Toux will get plenty of playing time.
“What we will find as we go through this very long season is that Le Toux is very effective, that he’s important to us, that he plays a lot,” Hackworth said. “He is very important to us and I expect him to contribute when called upon.”
Here are some more notes from the Union’s weekly press conference:
MCINERNEY PRAISED BUT TOLD TO STAY CONSISTENT
For the first time in his professional career, Jack McInerney is scoring goals on a regular basis. Stretching back to the end of last season, McInerney has nine goals in his last 13 matches. Hackworth said that he wanted to keep the 20-year-old’s head on a level plane.
“The message is very clear,” Hackworth said. “Don’t change anything, don’t change the way you’re thinking.”
The Union boss has seen plenty of ups and downs in his playing and coaching career, especially with the U.S. National Team, so he should be well versed to help McInerney deal with any struggles that could come during the season.
“At the end of the day you’ve got to do your job to the best of your ability,” Hackworth stated, “and those highs and lows are going to come as a professional athlete, so just try to be consistent.
“I believe when you do those things over the long term that’s where you get true success.”
NEWS AND NOTES
- Hackworth mentioned that there were no injuries to note this week and that everyone was available for Saturday’s match.
- Hackworth said that it will be a very emotional match on Saturday when the Union travel to New England. It’s the first match at Gillette Stadium since the Boston Marathon tragedy.
- “Anybody that tells me that Seattle isn’t going to make the playoffs is crazy to think that,” Hackworth said, referencing the slow start to the season by Seattle, but understanding the parity in the league as a whole
- In response to a question about the team’s struggles at times with possessing the ball, Hackworth said, “It’s not an issue with me as long as we keep winning.”
What do you make of these notes? Do you believe Le Toux will regain his starting place this season? Do you see McInerney continuing his strong form?
Share your thoughts below.