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The Artist’s Block: What to do about Giovinco’s penalties

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A serious analytical look at getting more out of Sebastian Giovinco’s penalty kicks.

MLS: Philadelphia Union at Toronto FC John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Some soccer players are mechanics, some are predators, and some, like Sebastian Giovinco, are artists. And much like other artists, sometimes they get a block in the process of their work. It could be a section of a painting they just cant see past, a chapter in a novel they can’t write through, or a few bars of music that leaves their symphony unfinished; soccer artists can get blocks too. In Giovinco’s art, his block is the penalty kick.

Sebastian Giovinco is the best free kick taker in MLS history, and could arguably be one of top kick takers in the world. However, as creative as he gets standing outside the 18-yard box, it disappears completely inside it. If his free kicks are like watching the Beatles record Abbey Road, his penalty kicks are like watching Nickelback record whatever it is that they record every 14 months that sounds exactly the same.

I’ve come not to bury Giovinco today, but to help him and the club. Because, I’ve got this strange feeling that going left post just isn’t going to work. So without further ado, let’s get bettering with some suggestions shall we?

1. Build That Wall

Sebastian can curl it around any wall right? Up, over, around, no matter… if there’s a wall, he can bend the ball. Have Greg Vanney give the option to the other team to have 3 players stand between Seba and the net, so he can do something more creative. If you pay the right people off at FIFA, there’s no rule that can’t be amended. MLSE needs to think big here.

2. The Ol’ Captain Jack Sparrow Trick

Make Sebastian train with an eye patch over his left eye. Refuse to let him see the left side of the net on free kicks. If it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind. When the game comes and it’s time to take that PK, the left side of the net will be a rumour to Seba, forgotten long ago due to an old pirate trick.

3. Utilize Tsubasa Endoh

As a former first round draft pick, Endoh just hasn’t been able to crack regular playing time with the big club, but what if there is a way to take advantage of his talents still? Before every PK, bring Endoh out of the crowd and have him stand inside the net, right beside the left post. Let Michael Bradley come over to Seba as he stands over the ball and whisper “we just need you to pass the ball to Endoh over there.” I can guarantee you that ball is going anywhere but left post.

4. Who wants an Italian call-up?

Convince Seba that management has spoken to the Italian Football Federation, and what they’re really looking for is a player who a) isn’t Immobile and b) can score on PKs, as long as he mixes it up a bit. There are carrots to dangle… and then there are caps.


These suggestions can be combined in some manner, or I’m open to new suggestions, but at some point, something has to change. Left post is so 2015. At some point, Seba needs to learn to do some new Seba things.