Toronto FC sells Sebastian Giovinco to Al-Hilal

AP Photo/Adam Hunger
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An all-time MLS great is leaving the league.

Toronto FC has sold Sebastian Giovinco to Al-Hilal, ending the Italian’s torrential time in Major League Soccer.

It’s not hyperbole to say that Giovinco helped reshape the image of MLS.

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TFC general manager Ali Curtis called Giovinco “any GM’s dream” and addressed the challenges of replacing him via TorontoFC.ca:

“We believe in consistency, so this transfer hits hard in a lot of places. I have so much respect for Sebastian as a player and what he has meant to the organization. His departure presents both challenges and opportunities. Obviously, replacing a player like Sebastian is difficult, but we are working diligently and are confident that we will be adding a new Designated Player in the near future who will be an exciting addition to our team.”

Now 32, Giovinco arrived at TFC from Juventus in 2015 and debuted at the age of 28. He led TFC to its first MLS Cup, scoring 83 goals with 51 assists in 142 matches.

Toronto was 1W-5L without Giovinco last season, missing the MLS Playoffs by 14 points.

Giovinco was a force in the club’s run to the CONCACAF Champions League Final, spearheaded their Canadian Championship win, and managed 18 goals and 14 assists in 38 matches across all competitions.

The move does open a Designated Player spot for new Reds general manager Ali Curtis.

Al-Hilal is the home of ex-Premier League players Andre Carrillo and Bafetimbi Gomis.