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Giovinco ‘couldn’t move’, asked to be substituted in MLS Cup

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Greg Vanney did not want to take off his best player in extra time.

MLS: MLS Cup Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Vanney’s decision to take off Sebastian Giovinco with a little over 15 minutes to play until penalties seemed questionable at the time.

Toronto FC’s go-to option late in games during the MLS playoffs has been to drop Sebastian Giovinco into midfield with Jozy Altidore and Tosaint Ricketts ahead of him, but when Ricketts appeared late in the MLS Cup final on Saturday night it was the Italian who made way.

As it turns out, the change was forced. Giovinco, who was substituted with what was said at the time to be cramp in the second leg of Toronto’s conference final against the Montreal Impact, asked to come off because he “couldn’t move”.

It was not the moment that Toronto lost the MLS Cup - Altidore and Ricketts both had huge chances to win the game - but it was undoubtedly a major blow when the shootout that followed is considered.