TORONTO, Canada—“People are talking about it ... a lot.”
That’s how Greg Vanney described rumours about himself and Toronto FC’s all-time leading scorer Sebastian Giovinco possibly reuniting in Los Angeles.
Speaking with Major League Soccer’s The Call Up earlier this month, the former Toronto FC and now-LA Galaxy head coach was asked about the Giovinco rumours. For those of you who missed it, rumours of the Atomic Ant’s return to the Major League Soccer (MLS), specifically the Los Angeles Galaxy, began to swirl last month once Vanney’s move to L.A. was made official.
Typically, silly season usually gives us some fun (read: ridiculous) transfer news, and generally one would go right ahead and and file this gem under that, but Vanney’s willingness to play along when asked about the matter makes it seem not so farfetched.
“I connect with him from time to time just because we had a good relationship working together,” started Vanney. “And our family is still close to his family in terms of just communicating and checking in and things like that.”
The Giovinco discussion begins at 19:20 in the video above (h/t The Call Up Podcast).
Given their experience and success in Toronto, it wouldn’t be a major surprise if the two have indeed discussedreuniting in Hollywood—having Giovinco to play alongside Chicharito.
But can something like this really happen?
“It’s a complicated situation, as we all know, to get players like that back into the league,” Vanney said. “They go through [the] allocation process and all these things are not so simple as sometimes they are thought to be. So, he’s a wonderful player. If things fall into place and worked out, maybe it’s something, but it’s really, really challenging.
Assuming Giovinco would be interested in LA—which is a leap on its own—similar to the complexities that would have made it a challenge for Toronto FC to re-acquire another member of the 2017 treble-winning squad, Victor Vazquez, the Galaxy would also have to jump through some hurdles to make a move for Seba happen.
Since Giovinco was a Designated Player in Toronto and was then transferred to Al Hilal for over $500K (the actual transfer price is in the millions), it put the former league MVP on the Allocation Ranking List. Essentially, for the LA Galaxy to acquire Giovinco, it would likely mean that the Galaxy would have to make a trade to move up the Allocation Ranking Order, a spot currently held by MLS newcomers Austin FC.
Trading up, albeit expensive, that part’s not inconceivable. But when you consider the current makeup of L.A.’s roster (and the amount of allocation money it’d likely take to acquire the No. 1 spot), a Giovinco to LA transfer becomes a lot more unlikely. The Galaxy currently have one open designated player spot but are in talks to re-acquire Cristian Pavon from Boca Juniors.
If Giovinco were to move to the Galaxy in 2021, it’d likely have to be as a non-DP, and quite frankly, it’s tough to imagine L.A. squeezing his salary under the current cap.
But as Vanney alludes to, it’s not impossible, and it’s also worth noting that this nightmare scenario for Toronto FC fans would actually be out of the club’s control, though it’s hard to ever imagine Giovinco sporting another MLS kit.
We say rest easy #TFCLive. A move back to the league he used to dominate doesn’t appear to be in Seba’s cards ... for now.