Toronto FC: Giovinco has to accept reality of playing conditions

Sebastian Giovinco celebrates a goal for Toronto FC. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Sebastian Giovinco celebrates a goal for Toronto FC. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Sebastian Giovinco is unhappy with the playing surface at BMO Field, but there is nothing he and Toronto FC can do about it right now

Following Toronto FC‘s crucial 3-1 win against the Montreal Impact at the weekend, Sebastian Giovinco should theoretically have been happy. After all, he scored twice and helped keep alive the Reds’ tenuous hopes of qualifying for the playoffs.

However, this wasn’t the case after Giovinco was forced to leave the action in the 72nd minute, due to an apparent groin or hamstring strain. As far as he is concerned, the playing surface at BMO Field is leading to a significant number of injuries to him and his teammates.

And the 2015 MLS MVP wasn’t shy about sharing what he believes is causing all the issues. As reported by Neil Davidson via the National Post, he said:

"“We continue to put sand on the grass. The (CFL) Argos play (there), TFC 2 plays (there). Everybody plays on this field and every game we lose a player (to injury). This is not possible.”"

Giovinco then made his point more dramatic by promptly walking away from the assembled media. If he was hoping to accentuate his point, this certainly helped.

The four-time MLS All-Star is right when saying TFC have faced more injuries than usual this year. The team has had to deal with the significant absence of important individuals, such as Jozy Altidore, Drew Moor and Justin Morrow.

For many, the conclusion is that having the Toronto Argonauts playing at BMO Field, is the main reason why the surface is problematic. The question is, what can be done about it?

As reported by the Toronto Sun‘s Ryan Wolstat, a new grass pitch was installed this year to make things better. But as far as Giovinco is concerned, this has not helped.

However, you can still wonder how much the Argos are really to blame for the increased number of injuries? For example, TFC have played more games than usual this year due to their run in the CONCACAF Champions League; it is no secret that extra fixtures are going to impact a player’s durability and increase their susceptibility to injuries.

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For what it’s worth, it should be noted the Reds didn’t seem to be impacted last year, during the Argos’ second season at BMO Field. In fact, TFC enjoyed a record-setting campaign at home, with 13 wins, three ties and just one loss.

Regardless, whether the Argos are to blame or not for the playing surface, the reality is there is nothing Giovinco and Toronto FC can do about it right now. As much as TFC fans want to believe BMO Field is their home because they were playing there first, this is not the case.

When the stadium was originally built, it was funded by the Canadian Federal Government, the Government of Ontario, the City of Toronto and MLSE. The City of Toronto owns the stadium, while MLSE have the management rights.

The point is, TFC don’t own the stadium and cannot control who plays there. If MLSE want to allow other franchises under their control to compete at BMO Field, Toronto FC are powerless to stop them.

Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t sympathise with the Reds; they deserve to have the best possible environment to continue contending for honours. However, they’re going to have to be patient and hope the powers that be can rectify the playing conditions.

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What’s your position on the current playing conditions for Toronto FC at BMO Field? Further, are you confident the situation will be rectified to a satisfactory level? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.