The Call Up

Sebastian Giovinco to the LA Galaxy? Greg Vanney addresses "complicated situation"

Sebastian Giovinco & Greg Vanney - Toronto FC - MLS Cup 2016

An Atomic Ant reunion in southern California? 

That was the subject of reports in late January, igniting visions of former Toronto FC star Sebastian Giovinco joining back up with head coach Greg Vanney, who’s now leading the LA Galaxy.

Vanney, on the latest episode of The Call Up, said with a wry smile that he can neither confirm nor deny that it’s a possibility. On a more serious note, Vanney pointed to the web of league rules they’d have to navigate to get the 34-year-old Italian forward in a Galaxy jersey.

“It’s a complicated situation, as we all know, to get players like that back into the league,” Vanney said. “They go through [the] allocation process and all these things are not so simple as sometimes they are thought to be. So he’s a wonderful player. If things fell into place and worked out, maybe it’s something, but it’s really, really challenging. We’ll see.”

Watch: Greg Vanney discusses Giovinco Rumors on The Call Up

After being transferred to Saudi Pro League side Al-Hilal over two years ago for a fee greater than $500,000, Giovinco would re-enter MLS through the Allocation Process. The Galaxy are currently eighth in that order (expansion side Austin FC hold the top spot), so a trade would need to be orchestrated for LA to swoop in.

But it’s hard not to recall the sterling form that Giovinco enjoyed while playing under Vanney in Toronto. Winner of the 2015 Landon Donovan MLS MVP award, the former Juventus dynamo had 68goals and 52 assists in 114 matches (111 starts) with the Reds. The ex-Designated Player was pivotal in Toronto’s 2017 treble-winning season and coming agonizingly close to winning the 2018 Concacaf Champions League.

Whether Giovinco fits into LA’s long-term plans is another question entirely, especially as he enters his mid-30s. However, there’s clearly still a strong relationship between the former Italian internatinal and Vanney, as the latter looks to bring the five-time MLS Cup champions back to their glory days.

“I connect with him from time to time just because we had a good relationship working together,” Vanney said, “and our family is still close to his family in terms of just communicating and checking in and things like that.”

For more from Vanney as he steers LA’s next chapter, check out the entire episode of The Call Up here.