Sebastian Giovinco Attends Toronto FC Game
When it comes to Toronto FC club icons, it’s hard to think of any player more influential than Sebastian Giovinco. The Turin-born attacking midfielder scored an astounding 68 goals in 114 MLS appearances for the reds, ushering the club into an unprecedented area of success which would see them win a domestic treble in 2017.
He didn’t leave on the best of terms: when contract negotiations broke down fairly quickly earlier this year, Giovinco was sold to Saudia Arabian side Al-Hilal, and Toronto FC didn’t do so much as make a goodbye video for its most prolific player. To date, the former Juventus player is the most high-profile signing the club has ever seen – and stands alongside the likes of David Beckham as one of the biggest signings for the league as a whole.
Last night, the Toronto FC legend was spotted back in Toronto taking in the atmosphere at Scotiabank Arena, where the Toronto Raptors beat the Milwaukee Bucks for the fourth time in a row to book themselves a spot in the NBA Finals for the first time ever. It was a remarkable moment in Toronto sports history – something Giovinco knows all about.
His presence suggested to many that Toronto FC might be honouring him in today’s game at BMO Field, with Toronto FC taking on the San Jose Earthquakes. While there wasn’t any grand ceremony of note, the diminutive all-star indeed took in the game from the stands, and was predictably well-received by those attending the game.
While some fans are already postulating about an improbable return for Giovinco back to Toronto FC, there are no indications that such a dramatic move is on the cards. Toronto FC sold him for an undisclosed fee just about four months ago, and has already replaced its third and final designated player slot with creative playmaker Alejandro Pozuelo – who marked his debut by scoring both a panenka and an in-the-box chip goal.
Toronto FC brass had intended to follow-up on Pozuelo’s designated player signing with one or two TAM-level signings, and had been linked to the likes of Omar González despite Ali Curtis stating the club’s intentions of signing a winger. During the transfer window, the club brought in the likes of Nick DeLeon, Richie Laryea, and Terrence Boyd.
For what it’s worth, Toronto FC executives have retained a healthy relationship with Giovinco’s agent. Back in April, Toronto FC President Bill Manning and Manager of Player Engagement Jason Hernandez travelled to Italy as guests of Giovinco’s agent, Andrea D’Amico, though it hasn’t been revealed who they were scouting. Wild rumours briefly indicated Arjen Robben was on the cards at one point, but the originating source of these rumours was little more than a tabloid that often launched unsubstantiated speculation.
Toronto FC is currently occupying the bottom playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, where the third and seventh-placed sides are only separated by four points. Today, Toronto FC was forced to play without Alejandro Pozuelo, Michael Bradley, and Jonathan Osorio. Despite a first-ever MLS goal from hometown player Richie Laryea, the club succumbed to a 2-1 defeat after a brace from leading all-time MLS goalscorer Chris Wondolowski.
Jozy Altidore, who missed a good chunk of May with a hamstring problem, will be an integral part of restarting the goalscoring prowess of a TFC side which saw a hot start to the season slow down to a sizzle in the last month of action.
It’s a matter of executing in the boxes. Our execution in the final third on either side has got to be better.Greg Vanney, Toronto FC Manager
The club may still have plenty of star power in its roster, but Sebastian Giovinco is on another level. He formed a great partnership with Jozy Altidore and scored goals when it mattered, with ‘that goal’ against Montreal during the Canadian Championship final being one of the club’s most defining moments.
His healthy reception comes as no surprise TFC faithful: after all, there’s only one Sebastian Giovinco. If nothing else, seeing him at BMO Field is a great feel-good moment for a franchise that has gone through years of dark times before Giovinco helped the Canadian side get it where it is today.
As the club itself says: Grazie, Seba.