Sebastian Giovinco Plays Big Despite Small Stature

Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco is almost midway through his first MLS season and has taken the league by storm. Giovinco’s twelve goals are second in the league to the thirteen scored by Kei Kamara of Columbus, and his nine assists lead MLS.Sebastian-Giovinco-after-1st-TFC-training

In January, Toronto signed the Italian-born Giovinco to a 5-year contract worth just slightly less than 40 million. Giovinco’s contract was the highest salary ever for a player in MLS, but has since been surpassed by the Brazilian Kaka who plays for Orlando City is making slightly more than Giovinco. Yet, Giovinco had had the greater impact.

Last Sunday’s nationally-televised game on the road against New York City FC was a prime example of the impact Giovinco has had on the league. In the game that ended in a 4-4 tie, Giovinco scored a hat trick, assisted on the other goal, hit two posts, and missed a penalty kick. He single-handedly carried Toronto who were without striker Jozy Altidore and midfielder Michael Bradley who were with the U.S. National Team as part of their CONCACAF Gold Cup roster.

After Giovinco had a goal and an assist in today’s 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union, Toronto’s record stands at 8-7-3, and they sit in second place in the Eastern Conference despite playing three less games than first place D.C. United. This is significant seeing that Toronto has failed to qualify for the playoffs in their nine-year MLS existence.

Many are speculating that the Italian international will be returning to Italy or even another country as early as the conclusion of the current season bringing MLS a possible record transfer fee. However, Toronto says Giovinco is worth every penny and will not let him leave before his contract is up in 2019. Furthermore, Giovinco has stated he enjoys living in Toronto except for the coffee. He has never been to Tim Horton’s and has only been to Starbucks once. Giovinco mostly goes to Italian restaurants with his infant son and partner, Sharj. The biggest difference between living in Toronto and Italy is that the Canadiens respect his privacy. He still gets asked to pose for pictures and sign autographs, but Canadiens know when to let him be. In Italy, Giovinco is constantly hounded and dislikes going out in public for that reason.

I believe Giovinco is just having fun playing consistently. Giovinco had not been receiving much playing time for Juventus which is also the reason he was left off the 2014 Italian World Cup squad. In Toronto, he doesn’t come off the field. Hopefully, Italian manager Antonio Conte will take this into consideration when bringing in players. At 28, Giovinco can still make the 2018 World Cup…and the best way to do that is to receive consistent playing time.

And that’s as I see it!

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Internal photo courtesy of http://www.mlssoccer.com

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