The best player to grace Major League Soccer

“Sebastian Giovinco is the best player in the history of MLS”, writes @AntoineBelgium. And it’s hard to disagree with him…

Sebastian Giovinco is the best player in the history of Major League Soccer. No player before him had his quality when joining MLS and no one reached his level while playing.

Giovinco scores, creates, humiliates and is the best signing that has made the dive into Major League Soccer.

He joined when he was a top payer (vs Henry)

​It is true that Giovinco was not in the starting eleven for Juventus week-in, week-out. In his last half-season in Torino, he had only appeared 11 times and scored only 2 goals. But the years before, he had managed to get important playing time, with 42 and 30 games respectively in 2012 and 2013. At 28 years old, he still had at least five years at a top European level, and he could have played at some of Europe’s finest clubs; it is not a surprise that last year he was tracked by FC Barcelona. 

Compared with a legend like Thierry Henry, who is often quoted as one of the best Designated Player’s, he was in a better shape before signing in MLS. The Frenchman had lived three difficult seasons at Barcelona. He won trophies but didn’t have a season with more than 30 appearances in la Liga (and only 21 in his last year), and above all, the Italian was five year younger than him when signing. 

He is the best player in the league right now (vs Villa)

David Villa and Sebastian Giovinco have been the two best players in the league since they joined in 2015.

In 2015, the Spaniard scored 18 goals, the Italian scored 23 times. In 2016, Villa bagged a total of 23 goals, while Seba found the net 17 times.

This season, Villa is leading by one goal at the moment (19 to 18) but the golden boot trophy is a tight race between these two. And it will seemingly go to the wire.

However, one might argue that Giovinco influenced the way his team play, more than David Villa.

Statistically, Giovinco conjures up an incredible number of assists (more than 15 per season) a higher number than Villa. Toronto FC also went further in MLS cup every year (and finished as runners up last season, losing to Seattle Sounders in the MLS Cup final) thanks to Giovinco, whereas New York City FC has not yet reached a conference final.

He is the most important signing in MLS’ history (vs Beckham)

Giovinco has had a huge impact on Major League Soccer, and it’s not just down to his goals, trophies and clear breathtaking talent.

Like David Beckham before him, the (unlucky) owner of the Miami franchise was the signature which revolutionised Major League Soccer in 2007. Without the signing of Beckham, we may never have seen Thierry Henry or… Sebastian Giovinco.

​However, Giovinco was the first ‘major’ player to challenge himself in MLS at a young age, in his prime. He has also raised the bar of quality in the league, and performed at that high level consistently over the few years he has been at Toronto. Beckham never had the sportive impact he was supposed to bring to Los Angeles, while the arrival of Giovinco clearly raised the standard of Toronto.

Moreover, Giovinco allows MLS to attract younger players. The fact that players who are not too old are choosing to join MLS rather than a European league might be a consequence of Giovinco’s arrival. Many teams, like the Galaxy (with Alessandrini or Dos Santos) and the Sounders (with Rodriguez or Lodeiro) have followed Toronto’s example. 

Hopefully the trend of young players arriving in Major League Soccer continues for years to come, it’s fantastic to see.

​Sebastian Giovinco is definitely one of MLS’ most important signings. However, he has only one thing to achieve, one that Designated Players like Clint Dempsey and Robbie Keane achieved with their franchises : to win the MLS Cup. Could it happen in 2017?

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