MLS MVP Is Sebastian Giovinco's Award to Lose in 2015

Peter Galindo@@GalindoPWFeatured ColumnistAugust 7, 2015

Aug 5, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto FC forward Sebastian Giovinco (10) leaps in celebration after scoring against Orlando FC in the second half of a 4-1 win at BMO Field. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

There's no sense arguing about it anymore. Toronto FC's star forward Sebastian Giovinco is en route to a record-breaking MVP season.

Giovinco's hat trick lifted TFC to a 4-1 victory over Orlando City SC on Wednesday. Admittedly, Orlando center back Aurelien Collin was abysmal, but the Italian is the one who embarrassed him.

The forward collected the ball on the left flank, cut inside and ran towards Collin. The French defender then lunged into Giovinco with a two-footed tackle in the box. The ex-Juventus youth product won and converted the subsequent penalty.

well-placed free kick and another brilliant individual strike in the second half led to Giovinco's next two goals.

Giovinco is now MLS' leading scorer, and he needs just three more assists to top the league in that category as well. He was also voted MLS Player of the Month for July, per the official TFC website.

In scoring his 16th goal in 2015, Giovinco set a record for the most goals in a single MLS season for TFC, per Laura Armstrong of the Toronto Star. Dwayne De Rosario owned the feat before Wednesday night.

He's also broken the record for most hat tricks in a season with two, per Daniel Squizzato of the official MLS website:

Daniel Squizzato ⭐️ @DanielSquizzato

Note from last night: Sebastian Giovinco is now TFC’s all-time leader in hat tricks. Giovinco: 2 Everyone else ever, combined: 1 #TFClive

Daniel Squizzato ⭐️ @DanielSquizzato

Sebastian Giovinco is now fifth in *all-time* goals for #TFClive. Three more goals and he’ll be alone in third place. It’s his first season.

Daniel Squizzato ⭐️ @DanielSquizzato

At this rate, Sebastian Giovinco will finish his first season with #TFClive as its second highest scorer, in all competitions, ever.

Giovinco has been involved in 26 of TFC's 36 goals this season. He's appeared in all 21 games for the team. There's no doubting how integral he is to the Reds' success.

The 28-year-old needs 12 goals in the final 13 games of the regular season to break the single season scoring record. Former D.C. United striker Roy Lassiter's 27 in 1996 still stands as the number to beat.

This writer discussed how Giovinco wasn't the league's best player back in June. There was no doubt that he was in tremendous form then, but he showed inconsistency throughout the season.

More than two months have passed since, with Toronto playing 10 games in that span. Giovinco has recorded 11 goals and four assists since June 6. He's been playing nonstop soccer for the last 13 months when counting Juventus' preseason that started in July 2014.

Sebastian Giovinco has been in incredible form despite the absences of Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley.
Sebastian Giovinco has been in incredible form despite the absences of Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley.John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

TFC also lost its two other designated players, Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley, to international duty for friendlies and the Gold Cup. Giovinco has carried his team and hasn't suffered a significant injury to this point, apart from his minor heel issue.

The heel injury seemed to affect Giovinco against the New England Revolution on August 1. He was slightly slower on the ball and wasn't as imposing as he was in previous matches. Head coach Greg Vanney took him out of the game at halftime.

However, Giovinco was clearly healthy enough to become the league's top goalscorer. His performances have been so impressive that Sportsnet's John Molinaro has labeled him as Toronto's best athlete.

There's also a debate about Giovinco being MLS' best player in league history. However, it's still too premature to include him to this conversation after 21 games.

Giovinco will have some competition for the MVP honors. Orlando City's Kaka has nine goals and four assists in 21 appearances. He's helped the expansion side compete for a postseason spot, and if it qualifies, the Brazilian will likely be considered for the award.

Sporting Kansas City's Benny Feilhaber is another potential candidate. He has been instrumental in SKC's excellent 2015 season with seven goals and is tied for second with 10 assists.

New York City FC's David Villa is also in the running with 13 goals (third-highest total in the league) for MLS' other expansion team.

However, if Giovinco can continue this form and guide TFC into the playoffs for the first time, he'll easily claim the Landon Donovan MVP Award.

Peter Galindo covers MLS and U.S. soccer for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @GalindoPW.


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