Major League Soccer’s entire batch of awards is essentially invalidated by the exclusion of one player.
Yes, that’s a strong statement, but it’s one I’m prepared to defend when it comes to one Sebastian Giovinco.
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With all due respect to David Villa, Bradley Wright-Phillips, and Sacha Kljestan, the voters have it wrong here (And barring a season in which a team goes almost unbeaten, having two MVP candidates from the same team shouldn’t even be allowed, but I digress).
The 29-year-old Toronto FC star won the league’s MVP last season when he posted 22 goals and 16 assists in 33 games played. This year, he nabbed 17 and 15 despite playing five less games.
Consider that in a season in which fellow Designated Players Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore were limited to 40 total starts, Giovinco calls the following achievements as his own:
In assists per game (.48), he was No. 2 to Steven Gerrard. Kljestan as third.
In shots per game (6.33), he was No. 1. Villa was second.
In goals per game (.63), he was No. 3. Villa was first, BWP fourth.
He was the only player in the Top Ten in both goals and assists (Giovani Dos Santos).
Toronto went 1W-1L-4T in the six games he missed, including three draws and a loss in four home games. With him, they were 13W-8L-7T.
He scored 11 goals with his right foot (sixth in the league), and six with his left (fourth). Ola Kamara is in the only other Top Ten member in both categories.
His four goals scored outside the 18 are tied for the league’s top mark.
In games Giovinco scored, Toronto posted a record of 8W-1L-2T.
With all due respect, I can’t fathom Giovinco’s exclusion from the list even with his six games missed. When MLS received its award ballots back, it should’ve replied all with, “You guys forgot Seba.”