Sebastian Giovinco celebrates a goal for Toronto FC. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
5. Sebastian Giovinco’s masterpiece
It’s not too often that you find a team that has one, unquestioned, greatest player of all time. Just look to any other corner of the Toronto sports landscape.
You’ll find debates between DeMar DeRozan, Vince Carter, Kyle Lowry and Kawhi Leonard, kerfuffles between Dave Keon, Darryl Sittler, Johnny Bower and Tim Horton. Even battles between Jose Bautista, Joe Carter, Roberto Alomar and Roy Halladay.
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But nobody, not even the most brazen keyboard warriors, questions the fact that Giovinco has not been matched. A member of the domestic treble-winning team of 2017, he reached the mountain top with TFC, but his grind before the shine deserves some attention too.
In 2015, eight years after their birth, Toronto FC had not reached the MLS Cup playoffs. That all changed when the New York Red Bulls came to town on October 14, 2015.
Already nursing a precarious 1-0 lead and down a man, Giovinco received the ball at midfield. After sprinting towards the centre of the pitch with New York’s Sal Zizzo all over him, Giovinco hit Zizzo with a stiff arm, while simultaneously dekeing Brazilian midfielder Felipe out of his shoes.
The Atomic Ant then set his sights on Ronald Zubar. He shuffled the ball to the outside of Zubar, then fired past Luis Robles.
This strike would prove to be the winning goal in the match that clinched TFC their first ever playoff berth. The club would eventually bow out in the first round of the playoffs at the hands of Montreal, but Giovinco ignited a flame with this goal, and it is still burning strong in 2020.