Toronto FC: Sebastian Giovinco – the Class of MLS


Sebastian Giovinco is on course to be MLS MVP after his dominating performances for Toronto FC

You’re not exactly going out on a limb to say Sebastian Giovinco has been sensational this season for Toronto FC. In fact, his play has been so dominating, he’s odds on favourite to win the MLS MVP award.

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Just one look at Giovinco’s statistics for 2015 are enough to convince you why. His cumulative total of 17 goals (second best in the league) and 12 assists (fourth) is easily the best in the league.

Greg Vanney was asked for his verdict on his star player’s MVP chances, following Saturday’s 5-0 win over Orlando City. The Toronto FC manager told the media: “I don’t think there’s any question on that side of things.”

As Howard Megdal of the reported, Vanney enjoys watching Giovinco every day: “I break down video when I go back and look at our team, watch our games over and over, and I can’t help pick out some of the moments that he puts on the field, whether in the game or in training.”

Certainly, TFC would not be in a position to finally qualify for the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, without the mercurial talents of the Italian. The Reds find themselves six points clear in a postseason spot, with just 10 games remaining.

Aug 22, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto FC defender Justin Morrow (2) is congratulated on his goal by midfielder Jonathan Osorio (21) as forward Sebastian Giovinco (10) celebrates with midfielder Michael Bradley (4) against the Orlando City SC at BMO Field. Toronto FC beat Orlando City SC 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Of course, Toronto FC have been here previously, including just last season, before fading away in the final months of the season. However, the vibe is just different this year – the feeling is that the team will stay the course this time, thanks in large part to Giovinco.

For his part, the 28-year old admits that part of the reason for his play is down to his improved fitness. Speaking to Megdal and the rest of the media through his translator, he said: “The last couple of years, I haven’t been in very good shape. And now, I’m very happy to keep scoring, helping the team to achieve their goals.

“But I’m feeling better as well. I’m playing better than I was in Europe.”

Understandably, a lot of critics will latch onto that last point, arguing Giovinco was nowhere near as good when up against superior opposition. However, Vanney makes a valid point, saying other players with excellent European pedigree have never dominated MLS to this extent.

Vanney said: “In terms of skill, ability and talent, he’s got to be among the best players who have ever come through this league, and maybe at the top of that list.

“What will take us a little bit longer to determine is the winning factor…But just in terms of talent, excitement, ability, he might very well be at the top of that list.”

Of course Toronto FC fans, among the most hardcore in MLS, would love to see an MLS Cup in the near future. For now though, they will likely be more than happy to just make the playoffs, and see their star player take home the MVP award.

Next: Herculez Gomez turned down more money to join TFC

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