Toronto FC star Sebastian Giovinco's rampaging form in his debut MLS season has been rewarded with a call-up to the Italian national team for the Azzurri's Euro 2016 qualifiers vs. Malta and Bulgaria next week.
The Atomic Ant is not the only MLSer to make coach Antonio Conte's squad: New York City FC newcomer Andrea Pirlo has also been called into the Italy camp.
“Giovinco is doing very well in Canada. He’s returning to be the player we knew and he can be an important part of this team," Conte said. “And Pirlo will be in there, too. I think he’s still a key player for us, and as long as he holds up and makes a difference on the pitch he’ll be with us.”
Giovinco joined TFC in January and has been a smash hit in North America, scoring 17 goals (the second-best in MLS to date) and 12 assists (fourth in MLS) in 24 matches. His exploits have made him a front-runner in the league MVP race, and he has spearheaded the Reds' push for a first-ever playoff berth. TFC currently sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
Pirlo joined NYCFC last month and has notched two assists in six league appearances (five starts). While his expansion side have encountered their fair share of struggles this year, seventh-place City are still just one spot out of a post-season berth, with 28 points from 26 matches, level on Montreal, who have four games in hand.
The Azzurri sit in second place in Euro qualifying Group H, two points behind leaders Croatia.