Sebastian Giovinco certainly knows how to celebrate things in style. Finally named to the MLS All-Star team today after missing the initial fan eleven and commissioner's picks, the Italian had a goal and an assist to lead Toronto FC to a massive 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union.
"It's about time," said Greg Vanney of Giovinco being added to the all-star team. "It shouldn't have been so difficult."
With the goal, Giovinco remains one behind Kei Kamara for the league's scoring lead and now has 12 on the season. His ninth assist means that his is now only two behind Ethan Finlay for the lead in that as well. TFC play both of these players next week, giving Giovinco a first-hand chance to catch up.
"He's very clever when he uses that [speed to score his goal today]," explained Vanney. "He's efficient about how he works, so when he sees a moment when he needs a little hustle, where he needs to throw in a bump or try to throw some body weight around, he adds that to his game."
What he has no equal in, however, is the MLS MVP debate as he continues to build a case that at this point in the season seems insurmountable.
What has been a bit easier to make up ground on the past has been a Toronto lead, especially when they have a whole half to defend. Today, even with the late goal that Connor Casey scored the lead never looked in question.
It resulted in Toronto's first win since June 24, but for goalkeeper Joe Bendik it has been a long time since his last victory. That came on April 26 when Toronto defeated Orlando City SC, only for Bendik to go down with injury.
Today he finally got a chance to take back his role, and despite not facing much action he may very well have done just that.
"Joe is our starting goaltender and I think that is established," said Vanney after the match. "Now we know that if we need to we can always go to Chris [Konopka], he's always there for us and he's been sharp."
Marky Delgado had another goal for Toronto FC, his second in as many games. He also played at the top of the central midfield diamond with Michael Bradley still away at the Gold Cup. While he didn't do anything special he was very solid in a difficult role.
"It's a lot of work," said Vanney of the central midfield position. "But Marky has a big engine, he can cover a lot of ground and he can get back and he can get forward."
The return of Jonathan Osorio added some much needed ball handling ability to Toronto's lineup, and he added his third assist of the season. While he hasn't been able to find the back of the net yet this season his ability to help his teammates do so is promising.
Also back from Gold Cup action was Jozy Altidore who looks to be hungry after being cut from the American national team. While Altidore didn't score today, he gave himself plenty of good chances and created space and chances for others as well.
Toronto could have been better offensively but seemed to struggle with the heat, and holding on to the ball to long later in the game. It took Jackson coming into the game late to re-ignite Toronto's attack.
"Too often we were looking for moments to rest when we had the ball versus getting ourselves through the transition into some good positions to keep it and then rest, and let the ball do the work," explained Vanny after the match.
Toronto's match this week was about holding off an opponent who was gaining on them in the standings. By getting a win they get a chance to take things to the next level: next week against the Columbus Crew they will get a chance to do some gaining of their own.