After a 4-3 loss to Vancouver on Saturday, Sebastian Giovinco became the fastest player in MLS history to reach 50 goals + assists. Despite the loss, Giovinco was far and away man of the match, contributing heavily to all three of Toronto FC’s goals, as he scored two of them and assisted the other. Giovinco has been fantastic this season and may just be the best player the MLS have ever had. In 10 matches so far he’s scored 8 goals, assisted 5, taken 6.3 shots on target per game and has achieved a WhoScored? Rating of 7.9. He currently leads the league in all areas mentioned above, remaining on target to do exactly what he did last year and claim virtually every MLS award in existence.
In his first season in the MLS, Giovinco was named as an All Star, was named to the MLS Best XI, won the Newcomer of the Year award, won the Golden Boot with 22 goals, had the most assists with 13 and was named as the league’s MVP. His 22 goals + 13 assists also set a new MLS record for most goals + assists combined in a single season with 35. He’s been so good that he’s recently been called back to the Italian National Team and his exclusion from Italy’s Euro 2016 squad can only be seen as a loss for Italy and a win for Toronto FC and the MLS.
At the end of 2015, the Italian forward was named by the Guardian and FourFourTwo as the 94th best footballer of the year on their respective Top 100 Footballers of the Year lists. In terms of my lists, every year I put out a New Year’s Eve, end of year Top 100 list and an end of season summer Top 100 list. On my 2015 end of year list, Giovinco finished at number 100, becoming the first ever MLS player to make the list and although he is not set to make my 2015-16 end of season Top 100 list, he is likely to finish higher than any MLS player has ever finished before since I started this list in 2010-11 as he currently sits at 102.
Despite big name players in the league like David Villa, Andrea Pirlo and Steven Gerrard, it’s Giovinco who is grabbing all the headlines. Every single goal he scores is taken with finesse and brilliance. His first goal on the weekend was one of the best MLS goals I’ve ever seen. Beitashour passed him the ball from 70 or so yards away and he took it down with one touch with the outside of his foot away from the defender and then cushioned the ball into the bottom left corner. Right foot, left foot, penalty shots, free kicks, headers, Giovinco scores all kinds of goals and is incredibly hard to stop. He’s a nightmare for defenders to play against as his nifty and quick feet, small stature and incredible ball control are enough to worry even the best defenders in the league. Giovinco could be playing at a much bigger club and Toronto FC and the MLS should consider themselves very lucky to have him. For the time being, we should enjoy Sebastian Giovinco’s brilliance and praise him as the best player the MLS have ever had.