TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Transfer
One of the best players in the history of MLS has played his last match in the league.
Toronto FC announced on Wednesday night that the club has transferred star forward Sebastian Giovinco to Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal FC.
The 2015 Landon Donovan MLS MVP helped lead TFC to five trophies, including the treble in 2017 when the Reds won MLS Cup. In four seasons with TFC, Giovinco made 142 appearances with 83 goals and 64 assists across all competitions.
TSN's Kristian Jack reported the deal earlier on Wednesday, with the transfer fee cited in the range of $2 and $3 million.
“I’d like to thank the fans and my teammates for four special years playing for Toronto FC,” said Giovinco in a statement. “I’d also like to thank the club for helping me as I transition into the next phase of my career.”
MUST-SEE GOAL: Seba Giovinco bewitches RBNY defense with wonderstrike
The Atomic Ant helped transform the fortunes of Toronto FC, a club which had not made a postseason appearance in its first eight seasons. He took them there in his first season in MLS (2015) which was one for the history books as he scored 22 goals and added 16 assists. The combined total of 38 goals and assists is the most in league history. That season he not only won MVP, but he also took home Newcomer of the Year honors and the Golden Boot. He was named to the Best XI that season, as well, kicking off a stretch of three straight nominations.
During TFC's run to their first MLS Cup final appearance in 2016, Giovinco had a total of four goals and four assists. The next season he helped take them to the final once again, scoring a pivotal free kick in the first leg of the 2017 Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Red Bulls, a goal that ultimately proved to be the series winner. He provided the assist on the game-winner in the MLS Cup final as TFC beat Seattle to hoist their first league title.
GOAL: Giovinco scores again from a free kick, this time in the playoffs
“Seba is any GM’s dream. Coming into the organization, I was really excited to work with him and get to know him as a person and as a player,” said Toronto FC GM Ali Curtis. “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.”
The 5-foot-4 Giovinco was again a difference maker for Toronto FC during the club's magical run to the 2018 Concacaf Champions League final, scoring a goal in each series. He won the tournament's Golden Ball for his efforts.
Giovinco departs as Toronto FC’s all-time leading goal scorer across all competitions with 83 goals and he holds a number of club and league records.
“This was an extremely emotional transaction for our club. We’d like to thank Seba for all he did for TFC during his time with the club. He gave our fans many thrilling moments during his four years, especially during our championship season in 2017,” said Toronto FC president Bill Manning. “He leaves Toronto as the greatest player in club history. We wish Seba and his family nothing but the best as he begins a new chapter.”