In times of mourning, we reminisce.
And Sebastian Giovinco gave Toronto FC fans plenty to reminisce about since arriving from Italy in 2015. The Italian international spent over 10,000 minutes on the pitch for TFC, and while it may be tough for some to process the departure of one of the greatest players to ever play in the MLS, “The Atomic Ant” left a significant imprint on the franchise and city that he embraced as his own.
So, with the transfer of Giovinco officially completed to Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal, let’s take a look back at five of the Italian forward’s greatest moments as a member of TFC.
Last minute winner against Montreal in Canadian Championship
You would think that Giovinco was Canadian by the way he celebrated his injury-time winner against the Montreal Impact that clinched the Canadian Championship for Toronto in 2017.
— Canada Soccer (@CanadaSoccerEN) June 28, 2017
Giovinco took the feed from now-Chicago Fire forward Raheem Edwards and made no mistake for his second of the game — a testament to his ability to show up when it matters.
Hat trick in inaugural Eastern Conference semifinals
On the back of Giovinco, Toronto FC triumphed over New York City FC in convincing fashion to reach its first ever Eastern Conference Championship.
#TFC dropped five goals in New York.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) November 7, 2016
In the club’s biggest match to date at the time, Giovinco led a TFC squad into New York already up 2-0 on aggregate and took the game by storm. By the 20th minute, TFC’s No. 10 already doubled the team’s lead with two goals to his name and capped it off with a beauty trademark strike to stomp David Villa and company 7-0 on aggregate.
Winning 2015 MLS MVP
During his first year with the club, Giovinco broke several records en route to earning the Landon Donovan MLS MVP award as the league’s best player in 2015. He helped TFC qualify for the playoffs for the first time in franchise history smashing in 22 goals in 33 league appearances, winning the MLS Golden Boot as the league’s top scorer.
The five-foot-four tenacious forward’s skillful play style translated seamlessly to the MLS where he was clearly in a class of his own in 2015 and beyond. In light of the David Beckham, Thierry Henry — and even Jermaine Defoe — twilight year transfers, Giovinco’s arrival in his prime (he was 28 at the time of his transfer) was like a breath of fresh air.
Countless goals that captivated North America
Before Sebastian Giovinco’s 83, Toronto FC’s all-time leading scorer was Dwayne De Rosario with 33, followed by Chad Barrett’s 21. The Italian Stallion captivated the MLS with countless amounts of breathtaking goals — like this one against the New York Red Bulls.
What a time to be alive!! pic.twitter.com/JrJEyTUXY3
— Toronto FC (@torontofc) October 15, 2015
Giovinco played with a swagger that captured the hearts of many TFC and soccer fans in general. Whenever he scored, if it wasn’t from a set piece, “The Atomic Ant” seemed to find the back of the net in style, and that’s something that will undoubtedly be missed around the grounds of BMO Field.
Winning the MLS Championship
He leaves Toronto as the greatest player in club history, but overshadowing all of his individual accolades will always be one cold December night that will forever be engraved into the memories of fans around Toronto.
After failing to score one year prior and eventually losing in penalties, Toronto FC was graced with a rematch on home soil against the Seattle Sounders for the MLS Cup in 2017, and they took full advantage.
Seba celebrating MLS Cup is an all-timer. pic.twitter.com/IoEf6ZKPrb
— Faizal Khamisa (@SNFaizalKhamisa) January 31, 2019
And as usual, Giovinco found himself right in the mix. In the 67th minute, the Italian picked up a ball in midfield, turned, and sharply sprayed a through pass into the path of a streaking Jozy Altidore — like they’ve done numerous times since linking up in 2015 — and the American made no mistake, sending BMO Field into a frenzy that had been waiting to erupt for two years. Toronto FC won the game 2-0 and the rest, as they say, is history.