Sebastian Giovinco

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Toronto FC’s 2017 season is historic for a number of reasons

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Toronto FC is headed down a 2017 path that could feature the club’s first MLS title, and the reigning Canadian Championship holders are doing so in significant style.

Last season’s MLS Cup runners’ up have not only bounced back from falling on their home field to the champion Seattle Sounders, but somehow improved to become the most dangerous team in MLS.

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Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore have combined for 28 goals and 11 assists this campaign, which already surpasses the mark that the duo set last season.

The club’s defense has built off of its strong transformation in 2016 to allow just 26 goals through 28 matches, which ranks second-best in the league to go along with TFC’s league-best plus-33 goal differential.

Greg Vanney’s side sits on 59 points with six matches remaining, and even with a loss or two, TFC could very well break the LA Galaxy’s record for points in a single-season — which stands at 68 from the 1998 season.

By the way, don’t forget about this club’s home form. TFC is one of two teams — Sporting KC being the other — to go unbeaten thus far in 2017 in front of its home supporters. Toronto has either won or drawn in its last 15 regular season outings at BMO Field, which will make the squad quite difficult to get past come the postseason.

[ MORE: Atlanta runs wild on FC Dallas in Mercedes-Benz Stadium opener ]

Additionally, PST took a look at the greatest point margins at the conclusion of the regular season over the last 10 seasons, and TFC is currently on pace to do something historic.

TFC currently leads New York City FC by nine points in the Eastern Conference table.

The largest final points margin since 2007 came the following year when the Columbus Crew finished 11 points above the Chicago Fire. Ironically enough, the Crew went on to win their lone MLS Cup that same season.

Current season: TFC leads by 9 points
2016: 3 points
2015: 7 points
2014: 4 points
2013: 1 point
2012: 9 points
2011: 4 points
2010: 3 points
2009: 4 points
2008: 11 points
2007: 5 points

Giovinco’s agent: “Absurd” TFC star not getting Italy call

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Toronto FC star Sebastian Giovinco is either the best player in Major League Soccer or a close second to Spanish legend David Villa.

Giovinco’s agent, Andrea D’Amico, knows that MLS has yet to reach the status of the top leagues in the world, but fails to understand how the Atomic Ant’s incredible production doesn’t get him in back into Gian Piero Ventura’s Italian national team.

[ MORE: Arsenal can find its fix quickly ]

Giovinco, 30, has 54 goals and 33 assists in 83 games with TFC, but hasn’t been capped since a pair of late 2015 EURO qualifiers.

From MLSSoccer.com’s translation of a Tutto Mercato report:

“I find it absurd,” said D’Amico. “It’s a shame that a player with his skill, with his characteristics and his eye for goal isn’t called. Giovinco knows how to score in every way, even from free kicks, he’s a starter for his club and an absolute star in MLS. I don’t understand why players on the bench for Italian teams are getting called up instead, but sadly the story is always the same lately.”

Italy’s squad is running well, unbeaten in nine with seven wins. The idea of calling up a 30-year-old over a younger prospect isn’t especially attractive for Ventura, but Italy faces a Sept. 2 match with Spain which is likely to determine which vaunted side gets an automatic spot in Russia and which one heads to the playoffs. Seems to me a dynamic dead ball expert could do the trick.

Giovinco, Jozy send TFC 9 clear with derby delight in MTL

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The game in 100 words (or less): It’s finally time everyone stops beating around the bush, pretending like Toronto FC aren’t perfectly on course to go down as the best team in MLS history, pretending like there’s still a Supporters’ Shield “race” to be run. Following Sunday’s 3-1 victory over 401 Derby rivals Montreal Impact, TFC (56 points, with seven games to go) have every reason to believe they’ll break the all-time regular-season points record (68) and become the first team to reach the 70-point mark. Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore, TFC’s goalscorers on Sunday, are finally healthy, together, and in increasingly fine form — 7 goals, 3 assists in 8 games; and, 3 goals in 6 games since returning from the Gold Cup. Sunday’s result makes it nine games without defeat for TFC (six wins) and sends Greg Vanney’s side nine points clear in the Shield race. Montreal, meanwhile, remain on the outside of the playoffs looking in, seventh place, still trailing Atlanta United on goal differential.

[ MORE: Pulisic, Dempsey, Bradley highlight USMNT roster for WCQ ]

Three Four moments that mattered

41′ — Giovinco’s free kick baffles Bush — There is truly nothing a goalkeeper can do when Giovinco hits it this sweetly. (WATCH HERE)

52′ — Altidore gets on the end of a cross for 2-0 — Contrary to the haters’ popular belief, Altidore is actually good, and you should consider marking him (or any center forward, for that matter) inside the penalty area.

90+2′ — Piatti gives Montreal a lifeline — Alex Bono was spectacular for the entirety of regular time, but this mini-gaffe is the only thing that’ll replay over and over in his head tonight.

90+3′ — Giovinco answers right back for 3-1 — Just as quickly as Montreal came back into the game, Giovinco put them right back out of it.

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Man of the match: Sebastian Giovinco

Goalscorers: Giovinco (41′, 90+3′), Altidore (52′), Piatti (90+2′)

VIDEO: Giovinco’s latest free-kick masterpiece feels like cheating

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Sebastian Giovinco has already largely cemented his place as the best to ever play in MLS, and you can add the title of best free-kick taker in league history as well.

[ MORE: Pulisic, Dempsey, Bradley highlight USMNT roster for WCQ ]

Giovinco became the all-time leader in free kicks scored (10) four weeks ago today, a tally which he’s already increased to a dozen as of halftime of Sunday’s 401 Derby clash between Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact, thanks to this beauty which left Evan Bush standing in place, wondering how his life got to this point.

With David Villa back in the Spain squad this week, perhaps the path has been paved for Gian Piero Ventura to consider bringing Giovinco back into the Italian fold as well.

MLS Snapshot: Chicago Fire 1-3 Toronto FC (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): Greg Vanney and Toronto keep on doing their thing, and the Canadian side is yet another step closer to achieving MLS glory. TFC picked up its 50th point of the season on Saturday night after comfortably handling the Chicago Fire, who have cooled off significantly as of late in the Eastern Conference. The Fire are now nine points behind the East leaders and are losers of four of their last five matches.

Three moments that mattered

54′ — Accam, Fire level it up — Toronto really does manage to get contributions from everybody…

64′ — Hasler nets first MLS goal — Toronto really does manage to get contributions from all of their players…

90′ — Giovinco says goodnight to Chicago — That’s 12 goals on the season for Sebastian Giovinco and the TFC striker continues to help his side push towards the top seed in the East and MLS.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Sebastian Giovinco

Goalscorers: Marco Delgado (14′), David Accam (54′), Nick Hasler (63′), Sebastian Giovinco (90′)