Finally, some good news for Toronto FC. It seems like everything that can go wrong has for the club the past few weeks, especially after an embarrassing loss at Red Bull Arene just this past weekend. Players are injured, others are underachieving and the team has failed to get a win in their last four games.
Things reached a boiling point on Saturday when Sebastian Giovinco was substituted off in the first half-hour of the match with an adductor injury, the same injury he suffered through at times last season. Giovinco's importance to Toronto FC has been well documented, and this season he has scored or assisted on all but one of the club's goals. Without him, they are a different team.
Thankfully for the club, however, it doesn't appear that Giovinco will be out for long. In fact, he could even be back in the 18 tomorrow when Toronto FC takes on the Montreal Impact in the Voyageurs. He won't miss any regular season MLS games.
GIOVINCO UPDATE: Grade 1 adductor strain. Won't start tomorrow. Could make bench, though. So, nothing serious at this point. #TFCLive— Kurtis Larson (@KurtLarSUN) May 31, 2016
Whether or not he should be back in the lineup is another story altogether. It is, as Greg Vanney has mentioned on many occasions, very difficult to keep Giovinco out of the starting lineup. The atomic ant loves to play, as was evident last year when he got off a plane from international duty in Europe and scored the biggest goal in club history against the New York Red Bulls hours later.
I'm no doctor, but if a player has to leave a game after only 20 minutes on Saturday, it might be worth giving him a rest on Wednesday. The home leg of this tie will be important for Toronto FC, but it is the away leg that has cost them of late. It might be worth giving Giovinco extra time to recover and then playing him in Montreal next Wednesday.
In Giovinco's place, Jordan Hamilton is expected to get his first senior team start with Toronto FC. The Canadian has been a rarely used sub since signing a senior contract with Toronto FC. However, the club's razor thin striker depth has finally given him an opportunity to impress Greg Vanney. Mo Babouli, likely Toronto's most important player in this semi-final round, will start alongside him.