Sebastian Giovinco provides a boost for Toronto FC, as they prepare to play their first home game of the season, against Sporting KC.
The 2017 season has started in unfamiliar fashion for Sebastian Giovinco, who is used to dominating MLS opponents. So far, the Toronto FC superstar’s campaign has been highlighted by a missed penalty, no goals or assists and an injury, which resulted in him miss the last game in Vancouver.
However, no one expects these early challenges to be an ongoing theme this season for the Atomic Ant. Along those lines, Toronto FC is expected to receive a significant boost, as they prepare for Friday’s home opener.
As reported by the Toronto Sun‘s Kurt Larson, Giovinco should be back in the lineup, for the clash with Sporting KC. In fact, TFC head coach Greg Vanney says there’s no chance the Italian will miss the game:
"“I think (the bye week) was huge. Because of the contusion I think (Giovinco) was able to take a step back and go back to Italy and see the physician he tends to see every few months. I think it’s a good trip for him in a lot of ways. It gave us a couple of weeks to really push him fitness-wise once he was feeling better and motivated as ever. I think it was a good break for him and kind of for the group as well to take a step back from those first three games, take in some information and try to move forward.”"
Another reason Giovinco’s return is so important, is down to the opponent TFC will be facing at BMO Field. It is somewhat of an understatement to say the team has struggled to find positive results, when playing Sporting KC.
The Missouri-based team has only dropped two points in their previous seven games against Toronto FC. Further, the Reds have only managed one win and three ties in the last 15 meetings with Friday’s opponent.
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Even playing at BMO Field hasn’t been much of an advantage for TFC, with four losses in the last five meetings against Sporting KC. Overall, Toronto FC has won four, lost 14 and tied five in the all-time series.
Despite these damning statistics, TFC will still enter Friday’s game brimming with confidence. Apart from the return of Giovinco, they have a full-strength roster save for Ashton Morgan, who is dealing with a foot stress fracture.
Added reason for optimism should come from the fact Sporting KC has struggled recently on their travels. In their last 16 road games, they have managed just one win and been held scoreless on 10 occasions.
This does not mean Friday’s home opener will be an easy game for Toronto FC. However, they may never be better-placed to end their recent run of poor form against SKC.
What’s your prediction for Friday’s game between TFC and Sporting KC? What do you think the final outcome will be, and why? Share your thoughts in the comments section.