After another spectacular year, Giovinco helped Toronto achieve something for the first time in club history, all while silencing the MLS haters.
When Sebastian Giovinco joined MLS during 2015, it was seen as a turning point for European acquisitions. Here was an Italian national team player, in the prime of his career, giving up Serie A to join Toronto FC and MLS.
Robbie Keane has likely been the best player in the MLS over the last 4-5 years, but Giovinco is stealing that crown. Gio hit the American game like a storm, proving that he is on another level. Quick recap for his first season – league MVP, Golden Boot award, most assists in the league and led the club to their first playoff appearance.
Sure the first response will be, “Because that is the MLS”. But in case you have forgotten, Sebastian was rolling through Europe as well. Two Serie A titles with Juventus, runner-up in Euro 2012 with Italy, and 23 appearances for the Azzurrini.
However, 2015 ended on a sour note for the club – eliminated in round one of the playoffs to Canadian rivals Montreal. Giovinco came back just as strong in 2016 with another 19 goals. But all that work came to a point last night.
After nine long seasons of suffering in the cold north, Toronto FC would be hosting their first playoff match. This club has invested massive amounts of money into the club, seeing it fail every year. To up the pressure even more, they have renovated and expanded the stadium, forcing the team to go on extended road trips to start the past two seasons.
So how did Gio and company respond to the moment? Let the video speak for itself.
His influence on this team cannot be understated. Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley are talented, but Sebastian is on another planet in the MLS. But in North American sports there is no prize for stable or avoiding failure. It is win or nothing.
He will need to be in fine form this weekend as the team quickly hosts game one of the quarterfinals. It should be a battle for the ages with another maestro of the attack suiting up on the other side of the field. This guy:
Hopefully for both the MLS and American soccer fans, Giovinco and David Villa will be back in 2017, confusing defenses. You can catch NYC FC vs. Toronto on Sunday, time and channel are still TBD.