Sebastian Giovinco succeeds in repaying Toronto's affection with an MLS Cup

Sebastian Giovinco -- holding trophy -- fantasy overlay

TORONTO – When Sebastian Giovinco came to Toronto FC, he came for two reasons: to score goals and to win championships.

He has done both.

Toronto FC lifted the 2017 MLS Cup on Saturday night at BMO Field after a 2-0 victory over Seattle Sounders, adding another piece of silverware to an historic, three-trophy cabinet.

“I'm so happy for the team, for the city, the fans,” said Giovinco, shortly after the champagne rained down. “We deserved to win last year; we won this year. We are the best team.”

Playing against the side that denied them the MLS Cup last season, TFC were intent on ensuring that this year's match ended not only victoriously, but in regulation.

Drew Moor sent a header over the bar from the back-post two minutes in. Giovinco had a look at after eight minutes. Multiple saves later, it looked as though Seattle's goalkeeper Stefan Frei was on track to repeat as MLS Cup MVP.

But Giovinco had other plans, dropping deep to collect a quick counter spurred by a Michael Bradley outlet pass to Victor Vazquez, before turning to send Jozy Altidore into the widening gap between Seattle's defenders in the 67th minute.

Altidore scored the goal, but Giovinco crafted the opening and delivered an assist, after Vazquez advanced the play.

“They're two players that I wish we had in US soccer,” said Altidore. “They're not physically the most imposing, but they make the game so easy. They find you in the right spots, the right moments. This is a very good team with very good players, but those two they make us go. We're very lucky to have them.”

Moor pointed out that even when Giovinco doesn't score, the “Atomic Ant” still creates issues. “Would have loved to have seen him on the score-sheet tonight. He deserved it. But he was impressive. I'm so proud of the performance he turned in.”

Giovinco showed out, and ultimately lifted the trophy, with his visiting family in attendance. They witnessed the accomplishment of the goal targeted since a 2015 arrival.

As did 30,584 of his closest friends in Toronto.

“I’ll be honest, and I said it before, the affection they’ve shown me here is more than at any other team I've been at,” said Giovinco, in Italian. “From the start, they welcomed me in a big way and I’ve tried to repay their affection. In the end, I think I succeeded in doing it.”

With four team trophies (including the 2016 Canadian Championship), two MLS Cup appearances, a record-setting regular-season points total and the 2015 MLS MVP along with a pair of top-5 finishes, Giovinco has racked up hardware galore. And he's confident this ranks as the best team in league history.

Which leaves but one goal for 2018:

“We confirm that we are the best.”