As the reigning MLS MVP, Sebastian Giovinco has taken on a bit of a role as a poster child of MLS. He is one of the main guys raising the profile of the league. Mainly because his reputation was improved upon when he moved to the Untied States. There are plenty of stars scattered across the wide MLS landscape, but Giovinco has made himself a star since coming to Toronto FC.
Giovinco has encapsulated the soccer world in the United States with his ridiculous abilities to will the game whichever way he wants it. He scores seemingly at will and there are few, if any, defenses out there that can stomp out his momentum once he gets started.
But that doesn’t mean that Giovinco would fit into any team in any league with any supporting cast.
He has his drawbacks, as everyone does. Some would say he shoots too much (he leads MLS). He gets dispossessed. He is frequently offside. But these wavering properties are stabilized by the environment around Giovinco and that is finally coming to the forefront this year.
Toronto has always allowed the Atomic Ant to do his thing. But up until recently, ‘his thing’ wasn’t enough, because the rest of Toronto was so unstable. This year, the team is stabilized with a fantastic supporting cast that covers for the Italian’s lapses while providing him a platform with which to vault off of and wow the world.
When at their best, such as last time out against Montreal, Toronto ran with a 4-4-2. The stability there was so great that Montreal had an incredibly tough time even finding space.
Michael Bradley and Will Johnson provide the perfect base for this attack to lean on because both are so disciplined on and off the ball that mental lapses are not even part of their lives. Their control in maintaining position and possession and creating chances is ideal for someone like Giovinco, who doesn’t want to track back and who just wants to sit at the top of the formation and wait for the ball. He has that freedom in Toronto, whereas many teams out there require full team defense and maximum effort.
Jozy Altidore has even noted that he has had to alter his style to accommodate his striking mate. Just another sign that this team is built around Giovinco.
Now sitting atop the MLS power rankings, Toronto seems to have put it all together at long last. The defense has shored up, the midfield is as steady as they come and Giovinco is still doing his thing.